2015.06.19 Santorum featured
Bobby Chen (@rysChen)

Rick Santorum in Philly: On ISIS, ‘crazy environmental policies’ and that time a dog peed on his lap

Presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum greeted about 200 Republicans at a conference in Philadelphia this morning with a story about being peed on by a dog — the phrases “take your pants off” and “Iarge, warm urine wet spot” were used, all before 9 a.m.

Santorum, 57, announced earlier this year that he’s joining a long list of nationally-recognized Republicans making a run for the White House. Last time this happened, he came in only second in the polls to Mitt Romney before dropping out about a week before the Pennsylvania primary. This time around, the social conservative known mostly for his “family values” is literally polling worse than Voldemort (but better than Donald Trump!) 

He had breakfast Friday at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Philly as one of the speakers at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, a gathering of some of the region’s most powerful members of the GOP as well as some (albeit second-tier) presidential candidates. Also speaking this week are Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Karl Rove and keynote speaker Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

2015.06.19 Santorum-4

Bobby Chen/BillyPenn

Santorum’s been known for saying some outrageous things during his time in politics. Here are five things Santorum said in his speech in Philly this morning:

1. A dog once peed on him and a lot of weird sexual things happened after that

For reasons unknown to most in the room, Santorum opened his address with one of his favorite tales from the campaign trail. In 1990 when he was walking around door-to-door in Upper St. Clair discussing his congressional run with voters, he vividly recalled that it was a warm day during the summer and a woman invited him in for a glass of water.

Reluctantly, the young politician agreed, and ended up sitting down in the woman’s living room. When she went to fetch a pitcher of water for Santorum, the woman’s dog jumped right up on his lap.

“So you pet the dog, take a glass of water,” he said. “And I get this warm sensation on my lap. And so I jump up, and on my khaki pants is this large, warm urine wet spot. And I jump up, and she says ‘it might not be bad!’ and she reaches for my… you know. And I said, ‘it’s OK!’ Then she says ‘I have a hair dryer, let me blow it dry!’

“So that won’t work and then she said, ‘take them off and put them in the dryer!’ and I quickly said, ‘thank you, I’ve got to go’ and I scurry out.”

Not long after a pee stain ruined Santorum’s khakis, he was set to knock on the door of Pittsburgh Pirates closer from the 1978 World Championship Kent Tekulve. The politician was hoping one of his favorite baseball players wouldn’t open the door since he was effectively covered in pee, but he wasn’t so lucky. Tekulve opened the door, looked directly at Santorum’s crotch and the one-day presidential candidate said, “Mr. Tekulve, I’m so excited to meet you.”

2. Rick Santorum says he is ISIS’ mortal enemy No. 1

After trying to make the point that President Obama hasn’t done enough to thwart the threat of ISIS in the Middle East, Santorum said proudly that his photo once sat squarely a few months back at the top of an online magazine — one that belonged to ISIS and was published in English.

“Our president wasn’t listed under the enemy column for ISIS, and ya know why I was? Because they know me,” he said, later adding: “ISIS willl get stronger and America will be less safe. That’s a reality that no one seems to want to talk about… [ISIS] knows I understand.”

3. Obama ruined jobs for Americans because of environmental policies

Despite the last nationwide jobs report in June showing growth accelerating quickly, Santorum emphasized creating jobs in the manufacturing sector and for blue collar workers. He also said his belief is that nationally, Republicans are too focused on small business owners, and less focused on the people who work for them.

“We go out and talk as if all we care about is entrepreneurs,” he said. “They’re important, but it’s not a particularly strong election strategy… [During the last election,] what they found out in the Northeast was, you know who didn’t turn out? Blue collar workers. They don’t care about Obama, because they’re shutting down the manufacturing jobs with all their crazy environmental policies.”

4. Republicans can’t win PA anymore because they lost the Philly ‘burbs

Former U.S. senator Rick Santorum with breakfast attendee Cindy Robbins.

Bobby Chen/Billy Penn

When Santorum ran in 1994, he said he was able to pull off a win in many ways because he carried the Philadelphia suburbs. Yes, he lost the city by more than 200,000 votes. He lost Pittsburgh and the area surrounding it by more than 150,000 votes. But he won the four counties that surround Philly, and he said that’s what propelled him toward winning the entire state.

“You can’t win Pennsylvania anymore because you lose the suburbs,” and he attributed that to little focus on blue collar workers and jobs in the manufacturing sector.

5. The Republican party is no longer just about Wall Street and big business

No, Santorum says, the GOP is now about working men and women. He just thinks the party has done a poor job of getting that message out.

“We need a message that specifically talks to where people are today,” he said. “I know everybody in this room’s favorite word.  How can I know that? I’m a very smart guy. It’s your name. Everybody loves to hear their name. The problem with the Republican party is, there are millions of workers, and when we paint a picture of America, they don’t see their name

“We don’t talk about what we need to do to create manufacturing jobs in America. What is the future? Where are the jobs for folks who have lower skill and want to rise in society? That’s what I talk about almost exclusively.”

 

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