Rick Santorum at Iowa’s Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

At the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit that took place on Saturday, Rick Santorum took the opportunity to discuss family values:

There have been two books out on the far left and the far right, a guy named Robert Putnam on the left and Charles Murray on the libertarian right. And they both come down to saying, “you know what’s hollowing out the middle of America?”  It’s something I talked about in the 2012 race.

I remember being at Dartmouth College with Charlie Rose, and we had a Bloomberg News debate, all on the economy.  At the end he was going to go to closing statements and I said “Charlie, I’ve got a statement I’ve got to make.  Yeah, the economy’s hurting, Obama’s done a terrible job, but we haven’t talked at all about the real problem in America that’s hollowing out the center of this country.”  And I talked about how the word economy comes from the Greek work oikos, which means home or family.  The fact is the biggest change since Ronald Reagan is the breakdown of the American family, and now a majority of children in America are being raised without fathers in the homes.  You want to talk about the breakup of the most important small business in America?  It’s the breakup of the nuclear family, and America is struggling because of it.

There are things government and society can do and say to help knit that family back together with tax laws and welfare laws, but what both studies show is that the consequences of that are not just the impact on children in the home but also the impact on children in schools.  And parental involvement in their children’s lives directly equates to how well they’ll do in school.  Ask any teacher or administrator, and they’ll tell you that is absolutely the case.

Santorum did not discuss life, same-sex marriage, or religious liberty at this event.

Joshua Pinho works for American Principles in Action.