Rick Santorum: Top 7 culture war moments

As a senator, Rick Santorum was one of the Republican Party's best-known culture warriors. From gay rights to abortion to women’s role in society, he could be counted on to promote the traditional point of view.

His 2005 book “It Takes a Family” – an answer of sorts to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “It Takes a Village” – was a New York Times bestseller.

Now, as a surging presidential contender, Mr. Santorum is still leading the charge, and facing questions about some of his old, and not so old, comments. Here’s a sample:

By , Staff writer

1. Keep military women away from the front lines

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    US Army Captain Hellie (last name not given) adjusts her helmet as she walks away from an Apache combat helicopter at the army base at Bagram, Afghanistan, in 2003.
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When the Pentagon announced Feb. 9 that it was shifting women closer to frontline combat, Santorum raised objections.

“I think that could be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved,” he said on CNN. “It already happens, of course, with the camaraderie of men in combat, but I think it would be even more unique if women were in combat. And I think that’s not in the best interests of men, women, or the mission.”

Turns out Santorum was referring to the emotions of men. Or at least that’s what he said the next day on NBC’s “Today Show.”

“When you have men and women together in combat, I think men have emotions when you see a woman in harm's way,” he said. “I think it's natural. It's very much in our culture to be protective. That was my concern.”

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