Potential Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum had an opportunity to speak at length to Iowa conservatives last week, when he guest hosted Steve Deace’s radio show on Veterans Day. The three-hour program gave Santorum plenty of time to muse on a variety of topics, including his admiration for segregation proponents Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms and his belief that President Obama’s “greatest failing” has been his failure to end racism in America.
Santorum mentioned that he had recently been invited to speak at Liberty University, which led him into a tangent on how much he admires the school’s founder, the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. Although “how the press treated Rev. Falwell was not necessarily positive,” Santorum said, he found Falwell to be “completely gracious, warm [and] affirming.”
This made Santorum think of the late Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, who he said exhibited “probably the starkest contrast of what the press used to portray and what the reality was.”
“There was no one nicer than Jesse Helms,” Santorum said. “I mean, I don’t think a single Democrat would tell you that on a personal level, there was anybody that was more gentlemanly, more kind than Jesse.” (He might want to check with Carol Mosely-Braun on that.)
He added that the “breakup of any kind of cooperation” in government is happening because people like President Obama are failing to be gentlemen like Jesse Helms:
Later in the program Santorum took a call from a listener who complained that the media was giving less coverage to looting and vandalism in Ferguson, Missouri, than to “this police officer who has generally a pristine record in law enforcement" who "simply chose to defend himself.”
“I completely understand your position,” Santorum responded, before accusing the media and President Obama of fomenting “racial division” and “pitting one group against another.”
President Obama’s “greatest failing,” he added, was that he had the opportunity "to be a transformational figure from a racial point of view and he has abandoned the field.”