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A Bad Week for Santorum

Rick Santorum is trying to dodge questions about a 2008 speech, where he suggested that “Satan” was planning to infiltrate the United States. If he thought he’d be able to avoid addressing this during a general election campaign, he was kidding himself. Americans may be religious, but they’re not looking for a president who chalks up our societal problems to meddling by the devil.

The Satan comments aren’t Santorum’s only problem this week. His alleged private conversation with Sheriff Joe Arpaio about the veracity of Obama’s birth certificate is also something he needs to respond to:

Arpaio said he plans to endorse one of the four remaining GOP candidates in the coming weeks. But the sheriff added he would not make his choice known before he announces the findings of his birth certificate probe at a news conference set for March 1. This endorsement would be his second in the race; in November 2011, he endorsed then-candidate Rick Perry.

Santorum, he said, seemed to have no problem with the nature of his investigation.

“He had no problems with what I told him that I may be doing,” Arpaio told reporters.

The sheriff said he is conducting the investigation after receiving requests from “the Tea Party.”

The Birther conspiracies are an embarrassment to conservatives. The paranoid delusions of a fringe few have been a disgrace to the entire conservative brand. If Arpaio wants to endorse Santorum, and Santorum accepts, that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if Arpaio did discuss his investigation into Obama’s birth certificate with the candidate, and if Santorum really did have “no problem” with it, that’s a big concern. It’s an issue he’ll need to clarify. Republicans need to know whichever candidate gets the nomination isn’t going to go off the rails and start pandering to the Birther crowd like Donald Trump.



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