- Posted January 5, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
GOP presidential primary: Who's your pick?
Santorum Booed Off Stage in New Hampshire
If former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum didn't know it before after a campaign rally today in Concord sponsed by New England College, Santorum found out quick, he's not in Iowa any more.
Santorum was peppered by college students with question after question over his socially conservative views on gays and same-gender marriage. The same issues which he played up with gusto in the Cornfields of Iowa, Santorum realized would not sit well in the Granite State. New Hampshire has allowed same-gender marriage since 2010.
At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire today, the audience booed Rick Santorum when he answered a question about gay marriage by comparing it to polygamy.
A college-age audience member at a town hall meeting in Concord asked Santorum “how you justify your belief based on these morals you have about all men being created equal when two men who want to marry the person that they love —”
Santorum cut her off and said “What about three men?”
“It’s important that if we’re going to have a discussion based on rational thought, that we employ reason. Reason says that if you think it’s ok for two, you have to differentiate with me why it’s not OK for three. Let’s just have a discussion about what that means. If she reflects the values that marriage can be for anybody or any group of people, as many as is necessary, any two people or any three or four, marriage really means whatever you want it to mean.”
This is the exact same absurd, offensive argument that got Santorum into so much Google trouble a few years ago. It obviously plays well in Iowa, but now that he’s outside the fundamentalist bubble, people see his argument for what it is: backward fear-mongering based on religious fanaticism.
“So, everybody has the right to be happy?” he said. “So, if you’re not happy unless you’re married to five other people, is that OK?”
Santorum’s logic provoked an outcry from the audience, which was made up primarily of local college students but also a number of local conservative voters who were there to support the surging presidential candidate.
At this point the crowd applauded -- apparently cheering the idea that "marriage really means whatever you want it to mean.
Santorum continued: "Here's my point of view. And we're done talking about this issue, we're going to move on to something else."
He went on to laud the traditional marriage, saying that "I think that’s something society should value and give status over a group of people who want to have a relationship together."
Some in the crowd booed him after that statement.
A Rick Santorum town hall meeting in New Hampshire turned heated on Thursday when the conservative candidate was asked to explain why he, personally, would be affected if same-sex marriages were legalized, and how his opposition squared with his long riff about the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The meeting ended with Santorum getting booed by much of the crowd in Concord, which included many college and high-school students, after suggesting that children raised by same-sex parents are being “harmed.” .
“When we deny children that birthright by saying other types of relationships are okay – I think we are harming children,” Santorum said.
“I don’t believe that we can have 50 definitions of marriage in this country,” he said.
He went on to draw a parallel between states being allowed to set policy on things like medical marijuana use and states being allowed to sterilize their citizens. “States have rights. But they don’t have the rights to do anything they want to.”
The woman who had asked the first question then persisted, saying that the question about bigamy was “irrelevant.”
“In my personal opinion, go for it,” she said. “But when two men want to marry … ”
Mr. Santorum interrupted, “What about three men?”
“That’s not what I’m talking about,” the woman said to Mr. Santorum, who spent close to an hour and a half before the crowd.
The session ended with many of the students booing Mr. Santorum as he left for his next event.
Santorum stood firm on his beliefs and on his principles.
But did Santorum actually learn that New Hampshire is not conservative Evangelical Iowa?
From the Cornfield, the next 5 days could be a real roller coaster ride.
Based on today's exchange, Santorum may not get the top spot he found in Iowa.