Rick Santorum Explains Obama Race Comments

FILE - In a Saturday Feb. 20, 2010 file photo, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File) AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a likely 2012 GOP presidential contender, has released a statement to Hotsheet explaining his statement casting President Obama's comments on abortion as "almost remarkable for a black man."

Here's what he said in an interview with CNS News, via Right Wing Watch (video at left): "The question is -- and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer -- is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that human life is not a person, then, I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, 'we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.'"

Asked to clarify the comments, Santorum sent Hotsheet a statement that began, "For decades certain human beings were wrongly treated as property and denied liberty in America because they were not considered persons under the constitution. "

"Today other human beings, the unborn of all races, are also wrongly treated as property and denied the right to life for the same reason; because they are not considered persons under the constitution," he continued. "I am disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country."

In a Saturday Feb. 20, 2010 file photo, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

As the Atlantic notes, "Opponents of abortion in recent years have compared the status of fertilized eggs, even pre-implantation, to that of pre-Civil War slaves who were not considered fully human."

Santorum, a Fox News contributor who lost his Senate reelection bid five years ago by a wide margin, is a staunch social conservative who has been a target of the left for his positions on issues including homosexuality and evolution.

During the CNS News interview he also addressed gay marriage, stating that supporters are trying to "defy nature because a certain group of people want to be affirmed by society. And I just don't think that's to the benefit of society or to the child."

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