Republican presidential frontrunner Rick Santorum is known for his extreme views and outrageous statements on various issues, from health care to foreign policy.
Unfortunately for him, there are times his statements look ridiculous, either because he misinterprets facts or ignores them.
For example, Rick Santorum doesn't believe people die in America, for the lack of health insurance. He said this at a campaign event at the Sioux Center, where he had some tough moments answering the questions of a college student.
At the event, Santorum was asked for his stand on health care and the Christian responsibility of caring for the poor. According to an ABC News report, the student said he didn't think God appreciates the fact that we have 50 to 100,000 uninsured Americans dying due to a lack of health care every year. The student cited a Harvard University study on the subject, to support his question.
Santorum's answer was to completely reject the number of deaths quoted. He further questioned the validity of the supporting study and said: the answer is not what we can do to prevent deaths because of a lack of health insurance... I reject that number completely, that people die in America because of lack of health insurance.
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The fault, according to him, was not with the government. It was with the people.
People die in America because people die in America. And people make poor decisions with respect to their health and their healthcare. And they don't go to the emergency room or they don't go to the doctor when they need to, he said, according to the ABC News report.
Rick Santorum is doing his best to present himself as a strong conservative Republican candidate. However, regardless of his political stance, he probably should have been a little careful rejecting the Harvard study out of hand.
A study, published in 2009 in the American Journal of public health, suggested some 45,000 Americans died every year, for the lack of health insurance. The Institute of Medicine (IOM-2002), on the other hand, said 18,314 Americans - between the ages of 25 and 64 alone - died every year because of the lack of health insurance.
Santorum has also drawn strong criticism for his statements on black endowment recipients. He apparently singled out African Americans as being recipients of assistance through federal benefit programs, telling a mostly-white audience he didn't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money, according to a CBS News report.
The strange point here is that according to the same CBS report, only 9 percent of Iowans on food stamps are African Americans. Predictably then, human rights organizations have slammed his statements as racially charged.
Santorum also faced criticism for his racial remarks on President Obama; he criticized Obama's abortion record and said he found it almost remarkable for a black man to say 'now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people, according to a Huffington Post report.
With the Republican presidential race heating up, Santorum could find himself in deep trouble if he doesn't choose to think before he speaks.