Where Is Santorum’s Menshkeit?

When a woman told former Sen. Rick Santorum at a Florida campaign appearance this week that Barack Obama is "an avowed Muslim" who is not legally the President, the Republican presidential hopeful didn't disagree. As if to reinforce her attack, he told her he's just as anxious "to get him out of the government." 

This man clearly lacks the menshkeit – character and decency — of John McCain, who refused to tolerate a similar slur four years ago when a woman at one of his rallies called his opponent, then-Senator Obama, "an Arab." The 2008 GOP nominee shot back, "He's a decent, family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."

Don't look for that from Santorum.   

At a campaign event in Lady Lake, Florida, a woman told Santorum, "I never refer to Obama as President Obama because legally he is not, He constantly says that our constitution is passé, and he ignores it as you know and does what he darn well pleases. He is an avowed Muslim and my question is, why isn't something being done to get him out of government? He has no legal right to be calling himself president."

How did Santorum respond?  Not like John McCain.  Instead, he encouraged her bigotry – and disinformation – by telling her, "Well look, I'm doing my best to get him out of the government right now. And you're right about how he uniformly ignores the constitution."

When pressed by CNN's John King about his lame response, Santorum tried to wiggle out by saying, "I don't feel it's my obligation every time someone says something I don't agree with to contradict them, and the President's a big boy, he can defend himself and his record."  After being reminded of McCain's response, he said, "I don't think the President's a Muslim, but I don't think it's my obligation to go out and repeat that every time someone who feels that way says something."

You can watch the video here.  

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.