Rick Santorum: I Have Been in the Vortex of a Firestorm

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum is in Iowa this week.  Yesterday, he spoke to a group of state legislators at the Iowa Statehouse.  He made the case that he is the candidate who can be trusted on the issue of religious liberty:

I know you all as state legislators have seen what happened in Indiana and Arkansas.  What happened there was the media creating a firestorm and leaders didn’t lead.  I have been through that firestorm.  I can go back 13 years when I was in the United States Senate and stood up and said if the Supreme Court decides a case this way [decided Federal RFRA law could not be applied broadly to states] then all of these bad things are going to start happening and I said we would have same-sex marriage in 10 years.  I was wrong – it was five.

I was put through a national wringer like no one had been put through and have been put through it over and over again because I am not going to back down from what I believe is the right course for our country.  And you learn that the media can be brutal.  It can be intimidating.  It can be overwhelming, and you can look folks and say, ‘That is a stand-up person, they are going to stand-up tall.  They are not going to back down when it gets tough.’  Then you realize, ‘Wow, that is not what I thought was going to happen.’  I share this with you because there is nothing… and this is what Walt [Rogers] was talking about… there is nothing that substitutes for experience, and particularly experience being in the middle of a vortex of a firestorm when your conservative principles and ideas are under the most intense scrutiny.  And you’re being called everything you can possibly imagine and they’re trying to intimidate you from backing away from your position.

That is when you find out if the person has what is necessary to stand up and lead through a difficult time and not back down, not run for the hills, not bail out, but actually stand-up in a positive and hopefully winsome way and make the arguments.  I always say when it comes to religious liberty now or the marriage issue or a whole bunch of other things we are losing these arguments simply because we are not making them.  We’re not making them because we are intimidated from making them.  That’s just a… if that continues then life as we know it, particularly the family, is going to be on a very, very bad track in the world.

Shane Vander Hart is the online communications manager for American Principles in Action, a frequent contributor to TruthInAmericanEducation.com, and the editor of Iowa-based CaffeinatedThoughts.com.