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Rick Santorum's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Key


Official Position: Candidate addressed this issue directly by taking the Political Courage Test.

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, but Vote Smart inferred this issue based on the candidate's public record, including statements, voting record, and special interest group endorsements.

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, or we could not infer an answer for this candidate despite exhaustive research of their public record.

Additional Information: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position, from their answers or Vote Smart's research.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as candidates submit them. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Rick Santorum has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart and voters like you.

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Issue Positions

For Presidential and Congressional candidates who refuse to provide voters with their positions, Vote Smart has researched their public records to determine their likely responses. These issue positions are from 2016.

  • "Rick and Karen Santorum have a special place in their hearts for children with special needs. Their youngest daughter Bella was born with a serious genetic disorder Trisomy 18. Bella won't walk and talk like the Santorums' other children, but her ability to love others is her greatest gift. Since Bella's birth, Rick and Karen's commitment to protecting every life - born and unborn - has only been reaffirmed and strengthened. They know that every life matters no matter what physical or mental challenges a person may have. They are committed to fighting to ensure that our country always errs on the sides of life." (www.ricksantorum.com)
  • "Rick was the author of legislation outlawing the heinous act known as partial-birth abortion and he championed the fight to pass the "Born Alive Infant Protection Act" and the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act."" (www.ricksantorum.com)
  • Signed a pledge stating "I pledge to the American people that if elected President, I will: [...] select pro-life appointees for relevant Cabinet and Executive Branch positions, in particular the head of National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health & Human Services, and the Department of Justice; [...] advance and sign into law a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion." (votesmart.org)
  • "The Santorum economic agenda starts by creating a fairer and flatter tax code that will treat everyone equally under tax law. This means that the IRS role in our lives will be nearly eliminated." (www.ricksantorum.com)
  • " I am committed to balancing our budget and cutting $5 trillion in spending in five years. These are the measures necessary to not just put our nation's fiscal house in order, but to spur on economic growth and confidence in our free-market system." (votesmart.org)
  • "We have to look at the huge rates of incarceration and the ability of a person to be successful in society. We have to take a step back and see if there's a better approach with a lot of these non-violent drug crimes." (www.theblaze.com)
  • " I am committed to balancing our budget and cutting $5 trillion in spending in five years. These are the measures necessary to not just put our nation's fiscal house in order, but to spur on economic growth and confidence in our free-market system." (votesmart.org)
  • "Rick Santorum has been fighting for fiscal sanity in Washington for more than a generation. He has long supported a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution and a Line Item Veto. He bravely proposed reforming entitlements, cutting spending and even developed a "spendometer" that added up the cost of Democrat amendments to spending bills." (www.ricksantorum.com)
  • "We can revive this economy immediately, if we cut taxes across the board and repeal the radical job crushing environmental policies of this Administration. If we create a level playing field - I will bet on the American worker above anyone else from any other country every time - and we will win. We must free our economy and put faith back in the American people, not in government. My plan does that and together we will rebuild America." (votesmart.org)
  • "The Santorum economic agenda starts by creating a fairer and flatter tax code that will treat everyone equally under tax law. This means that the IRS role in our lives will be nearly eliminated." (www.ricksantorum.com)
  • "Rick Santorum believes we need Common Sense not Common Core. He is opposed to Common Core and any other top-down nationalized education standards - and he has opposed Common Core from the start! [?] Rick Santorum knows that our country's public education system isn't working, and we all want to improve opportunities for our children, but more government intervention is not the answer. Instead, parents, teachers, school districts, and local communities should be making the important decisions about education." (www.ricksantorum.com)
  • "Rick Santorum has vowed to immediately rescind all of President Obama's regulations that cost the economy more than $100 million per year, and immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline." (votesmart.org)
  • "The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which I supported, directed significant federal funding toward research and development into and production of alternative renewable energy sources. As a result of this funding, there is the potential to bring a new industry to the agriculture community, create new jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil." (votesmart.org)
  • Huffington Post "When campaigning during the 2011 primary, Santorum called for a phaseout of all tax incentives for energy." (www.huffingtonpost.com)
  • "My position is that we should phase out all energy subsidies and create a level playing field." (caucuses.desmoinesregister.com)
  • "The regulations that we're seeing coming out of this administration have nothing to do with science. It's like a quasi-religious crusade for them. They want to eliminate fossil fuels. They don't care about the impact." (www.desmoinesregister.com)
  • "Despite Congress rejecting the President's cap-and-trade plan, now Barack Obama is trying to force his job-crushing agenda down the throats of the American people through regulations disguised as environmental protections. President Obama's environmental agenda - kills American jobs, creates higher energy prices and weakens our nation's security." (votesmart.org)
  • "As President of the United States I would take an oath to defend the Constitution -- the whole Constitution -- and that includes the Second Amendment and the cherished "right of the people to keep and bear Arms."" (votesmart.org)
  • "Obamacare and Romneycare crush jobs and are an affront to our freedoms. Americans know that Obamacare is bad policy, bad medicine, bad for the country, and badly needs to be repealed. Republicans need a nominee with the credibility to take on President Obama on an issue so important to the voters, and I am that person." (votesmart.org)
  • "Rick Santorum, ?who is the proud son and grandson of immigrants who escaped Mussolini's fascist Italy, believes that immigration is a healthy thing for this country, but just like anything else there can be too much of a good thing. And right now, America is having too much of that good thing. That is why Rick Santorum believes we must reduce immigration levels to the United States in order to protect American workers from foreign labor that is taking jobs that Americans could otherwise hold. He supports reducing immigration from about a million immigrants per year-the current level-down to about 750,000 per year. This will help blue collar American workers get back to work and thrive economically. Every net new job created since 2000 for people between 18 and 65 is held be someone who wasn't born in this country. This needs to change." (www.ricksantorum.com)
  • "Santorum has opposed a measure backed by President Bush that could allow a majority of illegal immigrants already here to eventually become legal permanent residents, by paying fines, fees and back taxes and learning English. [...] Santorum has attacked the plan as amnesty for illegal immigrants." (votesmart.org)
  • "During his time in elected office, Rick Santorum fought for the preservation of the traditional American family and for the protection of the most vulnerable in our society. Rick believes marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and he has fought against efforts to redefine marriage." (www.ricksantorum.com)
  • Signed a pledge stating "I pledge to the American people that if elected I will: One, support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification." (votesmart.org)
  • PBS "'What does Rick Santorum believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues' [?] Islamic State: More air strikes. Deploy 10,000 U.S. ground troops. At the Conservative Political Action Committee's convention in February, Santorum called for 10,000 U.S. troops on the ground to combat the Islamic State and for a massive bombing campaign against the group. At the same event, he told Bloomberg TV, the U.S. must increase air strikes, aid to Jordan and that under his plan, American forces would not be an "invasion force". They would be combat-ready as well as help with training and intelligence." (www.pbs.org)
  • PBS "In 2005, Santorum supported President George W. Bush's push to privatize Social Security. His campaign recently told NewsHour that Santorum no longer supports the type of private accounts Bush proposed." (www.pbs.org)
This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.
The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.

1. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support to address the problem of crime?

Impose a national ban on the public sale of assault weapons.
X Impose a national ban on the sale of handguns to minors.
X Impose "truth in sentencing" legislation for violent criminals so they serve a full sentence with no chance of parole.
X Create "boot camps" for juvenile and adult first-time offenders.
X Prosecute as adults youths who are third-time violent felons.
Impose the death penalty for certain federal crimes, including civil rights murders, rape and child molestation murders, death resulting from drive-by shootings or car-jacking, and murder of court officers or federal witnesses.
X Impose mandatory life sentences for third time violent felons.
Fund programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills.
Increase the availability of college loans for youth in crime-ridden urban areas.
Fund programs which provide job training and employment opportunities for at-risk urban youth.
X Other
Ban sale of firearms to juveniles; establish victims' rights provisions.

2. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support concerning illegal drugs?

X Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs.
Support mandatory drug testing for federal employees.
X Expand efforts to stop the illegal flow of drugs to the United States from other countries.
X Expand federal support for education and drug treatment programs.
Maintain current federal laws.
Decriminalize the possession and private use of certain illegal drugs.
Other

3. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support concerning the American health care system?

Implement a government-financed, single-payer national health care system similar to Canada's.
Support President Clinton's position for a "comprehensive health care plan for all Americans."
Support a managed competition health care plan to contain costs and improve access that does not include mandated health alliances, government cost control powers, or employer/employee mandates.
X Provide tax incentives for small businesses to help provide health care to their employees.
Allow middle and low income families to deduct yearly health care costs from their taxable income.
X Create a voucher system for the working poor so they can buy into a health care plan.
X Place limits on the amount of damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
X Allow Americans to set up a tax-free medical savings account, which would be taxed if used for any purpose other than medical costs.
Deregulate the private health care industry.
Privatize Medicare and Medicaid.
X Other
Comprehensive insurance and tax reforms to ensure portability, eliminate pre-existing conditions, allow full deductibility...for the self-employed.

4. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support to change America's welfare system?

X Strengthen child support collection procedures and increase penalties for parents who do not pay.
X Impose a two-year limit on welfare benefits for recipients who are able to work.
X Require welfare recipients to accept some form of government-sponsored job after two years if unable to find work in the private sector.
X Require unwed teenage mothers to live with a parent or guardian (if possible) to receive benefits.
X Limit the benefits given to single women if they have additional children.
Provide child care services to welfare recipients who work or attend school.
Increase spending on programs that help homeless people find shelter and employment.
Make no substantial changes at this time.
Eliminate the current American welfare system.
X Other
Ensure that existing child care benefit is utilized and covers recipients in work programs.

5. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support to address the problem of unemployment?

Invest federal dollars in "investment tax credits" for companies who invest in worker training, purchase new equipment, and invest in research and development.
Increase funding for federal and state job-training programs.
X Create "enterprise zones" in urban areas with high unemployment by providing tax credits for new and expanding businesses.
Create "empowerment zones" in urban areas with high unemployment by providing government grants and federal assistance, in addition to tax credits, to new and expanding businesses.
X Eliminate government regulations to encourage investment and economic expansion of the private sector.
Allow the natural cycle of the market economy to create jobs without government intervention.
Support an overhaul of the current unemployment system by combining current job-training programs within a new comprehensive "re-employment" system.
Other

6. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support concerning trade between America and foreign countries?

The United States should grant "most favored nation" trading status based on the human rights record of each individual nation.
The United States should raise tariffs on nations whose trade policies discourage the importation of American products.
X The United States should eliminate tax breaks for companies who move American jobs to low-wage countries.
The United States should expand NAFTA into Latin America.
X The United States should pursue policies that will help open markets on the Pacific Rim.
The United States should stay out of international trade.
Other

7. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support concerning the environment?

Tax high-level energy users (businesses and individuals) to discourage excessive energy use and pay for environmental cleanup.
Pass stronger clean water and clean air legislation.
Phase in a prohibition of pollution causing products such as gas powered autos and lawn mowers.
Consider further increasing federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels.
Consider further increasing fees charged to mining companies who mine on public lands.
Consider further increasing fees charged to livestock owners who graze on federal lands.
Require the federal government to reimburse citizens who are required to limit the use of their privately owned lands due to environmental regulation.
X Encourage further market based strategies to clean up the environment such as pollution credits.
Amend the Endangered Species Act to allow for increased logging.
X Other
Require federal government to consider and minimize the impact of regulations on private property uses & compensate takings as a last resort.

8. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support to change America's public education system?

Establish a nationwide competency test for teachers and encourage states to adopt it.
X Establish "National Standards" for K-12 schools and encourage states to adopt them.
X Advocate school choice programs so that parents receive vouchers that can be used to send their children to participating schools.
Allow low and middle income families to deduct college costs from their taxable income.
Provide communities with increased federal aid and low interest loans for public school improvements.
Eliminate the U.S. Department of Education.
Make no substantial changes at this time.
Other

9. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support concerning abortion?

Abortions should be legal in all circumstances as long as the procedure is completed within the first trimester of the pregnancy.
Abortions should be legal only when the life of the mother is endangered.
X Abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy results from incest or rape, or when the life of the mother is endangered.
X A woman under the age of 18 should be required to notify a parent or guardian before having an abortion.
X A woman should be required to notify her spouse before having an abortion.
X States should be allowed to impose mandatory waiting periods before abortions are performed.
X Congress should eliminate federal funding for clinics and medical facilities that provide abortion services.
X Congress should eliminate abortion services from any federally funded health care plan.
X Congress should leave legislation on this issue to the states.
Other

10. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support concerning American military and foreign policy?

X Congress should support defense conversion by funding job-placement and job-training programs for displaced military personnel and defense technology workers.
Congress should completely lift the ban on homosexuals in the military.
The United States should use military force only in cooperation with the United Nations unless threatened by a foreign power.
The United States should lift the trade embargo against Cuba.
Congress should increase foreign aid to the former republics of the Soviet Union to help in democratization and economic reform.
X Congress should impose strict sanctions against any nation selling technology or products that aid in the construction of nuclear weapons.
X Congress should impose strict sanctions against any new nation attempting to develop nuclear weapons.
X Congress should invest federal funds in the research and development of new defense technologies.
Other
Yes 1. Should the federal government adopt a policy of limiting or banning Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to federal candidates?
Yes 2. Do you support the principle of limiting the number of terms U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives can serve in Congress?
Yes 3. Do you support the principle of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution?
Yes 4. Do you support the principle of a Line-Item Veto for the President?
Undecided 5. If elected to Congress, will you support an increase in the minimum wage?

1. Please indicate the changes you will support (if any) concerning the level of funding for each of the listed issue areas.

Maintain Status National Defense
Greatly Increase Law Enforcement
Slightly Increase International Drug Interdiction
Greatly Decrease Federal Health Care Programs
Maintain Status AIDS Research
Slightly Increase Job Re-training Programs
Greatly Increase Infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.)
Maintain Status Public Education
Slightly Decrease Foreign Aid
Environmental Clean Up and Enforcement
Other
Other

2. Please indicate the changes you will support (if any) concerning the tax levels for each of the listed categories.

Greatly Decrease Capital Gains Taxes
Slightly Decrease Cigarette Taxes
Slightly Decrease Alcohol Taxes
Greatly Decrease Taxes on Social Security Benefits Received by Retirees Earning More than $40,000
Greatly Decrease Income Taxes on Families Earning Less than $140,000
Slightly Decrease Income Taxes on Families Earning $140,000 or More
Value-Added Taxes on U.S. Businesses
Maintain Status Taxes on Foreign Companies in the United States
Other
a) Health care - reform of our health care system must maintain choice of doctors and quality care without costly new government bureaucracies and new taxes. b) Welfare reform - the federal government's focus should be to provide opportunity to those must needy. Our current system traps the poor in a cycle of dependency. The time is ripe for reform.
I have introduced over $130 billion worth of spending cuts in this Congress alone from a wide array of programs. A primary source of funds would come from eliminating public assistance to non-citizens.

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