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Santorum Defenders Unwittingly Call Their Candidate a Liar | The Nation

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Katie Halper

Katie Halper

Breaking news, politics, culture and—not least—humor.

Santorum Defenders Unwittingly Call Their Candidate a Liar

Dear Rick Santorum defenders: you are screwed. Your candidate has boxed himself, and by extension you, into a corner by telling two conflicting stories about his “blah people” comment. Santorum has made it impossible for you to defend him without defending at least one lie. The problem is, Santorum doesn’t just have a “blah” people problem, which I blogged about Tuesday—he has an honesty problem. Just to recap:

1. Sunday, Santorum told a crowd in Iowa, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.”

2. Monday, a reporter asked Santorum “You said you didn’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them someone else’s money. Why would you say that?”

3. At this point, Santorum does not dispute that he made this comment about “black people.” He doesn’t say, “I didn’t say that,” but explains (in a bizarre way) why he said what he did about black people: “I’ve seen that quote, I haven’t seen the context in which that was made. Yesterday I talked for example about a movie called, um, what was it? Waiting for Superman, which was about black children* and so I don’t know whether it was in response and I was talking about that.”

4. Wednesday, Santorum had an epiphany and realized he had said “blah” people, not black people: “[I] didn’t recall using that particular word.… It was probably tongue-tied moment.… In fact, I’m pretty confident I didn’t say ‘black.’ I sort of started to say a word and sort of mumbled it and changed my thought. I don’t recall saying ‘black.’ No one in the audience heard me say that.” (He probably also remembered that some of his “best friends are blah” too.)

What is a Santorum-positive person supposed to do? There are two possibilities, and both of them, well, suck:

1. Defend Santorum’s Wednesday claim that he never said “black,” which means he was lying on Monday when he admitted he had said it. I call this group Wednesday Santorum supporters.

2. Defend Santorum for saying “black” people, arguing that it’s either not a big deal or that what he said wasn’t racist. This, of course, means Santorum was honest Sunday and Monday and only lied Wednesday when he denied saying “black people.” I call this group Monday Santorum supporters.

Have fun, Santorum fans. No matter what you say, whether you’re a Monday or a Wednesday Santorum supporter, you’re saying your guy is a liar. To help you decide which route to go, I present you with video of the two different Santorum defense models. In the Colbertian (Wednesday) model, Stephen Colbert argues that Santorum never said black. And in the Cainian (Monday) model, Herman Cain argues that Santorum said “black” people, but just made a poor choice of words in demonizing poor black people instead of all poor people. I’ll let you decide which one is more laughable.

 

*The film is about students of all races, but I guess Santorum only remembered the needy black children.

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