Republican candidate Rick Santorum has dropped out of the race for his party’s nomination, vowing to continue to fight for the values of socially conservative Americans.
To mark the end of Santorum’s campaign, we look back over some of the gaffe-prone candidate’s more controversial remarks:
1) In a moment that almost buried his campaign, Santorum sparked international outrage when he bit his tongue, apparently on the verge of calling Barack Obama an ‘N-word’ at an address in Janesville, Wisconsin. Santorum’s campaign denied that he had almost uttered a racial slur, but the incident set off an internet storm that sullied his reputation as a wholesome, family man.
2) In a faux-pas worthy of his Republican presidential forebear, Santorum boasted: ‘I don’t care what the unemployment rate’s going to be – it doesn’t matter to me’. He later attempted to defuse the situation by appealing for a ‘do-over’.
3) In another racially incendiary soundbite, Santorum appears to tell an audience in Sioux City, Iowa, that he didn’t ‘want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money’. He tried to explain away the blunder by claiming ‘what I started to say was a word, and then it sort of changed, and ‘blah’ came out. And people said I said ‘black and I didn’t’.
4) In Spartanburg, South Carolina, the former Senator accused the gay community of waging a ‘jihad against Rick Santorum’. The slip came after an influential gay columnist, Dan Savage, launched a campaign to associate the word ‘Santorum’ with a vulgar sex act.
5) The candidate further enraged liberal viewers by declaring in an interview that birth control is ‘harmful to women’. He added that it was ‘harmful to our society, to have a society that says that sex outside of marriage is something that should be encouraged or tolerated’.