Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick
Santorum on Monday formally declared for the 2012 GOP presidential
Santorum is the eighth candidate to
enter the increasingly crowded race. On Thursday, former
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney threw his hat in the ring.
One candidate – former New Mexico
Governor Gary Johnson – backs
government recognition of gay and lesbian couples with civil unions,
and an openly gay candidate, Fred Karger, supports gay marriage.
While the other five candidates –
Romney, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former House Speaker
Newt Gingrich, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, and Texas
Representative Ron Paul – oppose gay rights, Santorum's comments
are considered among the most offensive.
In 2003, Santorum created a
firestorm of controversy that has yet to quell when he likened
gay unions to “man on dog.” In January, he
said opposition to gay rights is “common sense.” More
recently, he's gone on the defensive, denying
that he's homophobic and insisting
that he has friends who are gay.
When Good Morning America host
George Stephanopolous asked Santorum if he had a credible path to the
nomination, Santorum responded that voters will back him because he's
stuck to his core conservative principles.