Election 2012: Rick Santorum Doubles Down on Porn; Porn Responds

canditateportrait_2DownGoing along with his public persona, presidential candidate Rick Santorum has made hardcore pornography an issue in the 2012 campaign for president. He’s promised to crack down on what he considers “illegal pornography,” which he takes to mean much of the hardcore porn industry—not simply child porn or other images most understand to be against the law to produce, distribute and view. Rather, he says he will simply “enforce obscenity laws.”

He went on ABC yesterday and reiterated the stance, saying, “[O]bviously Congress, in its wisdom, understood that hard-core pornography is very damaging, particularly to young people, and that exposure on the Internet can be very damaging, and of course it’s very damaging to a lot of folks.”

Rachel Maddow wrote on her blog of Santorum’s response, that he “wants to use the power of the executive branch to limit access to adult materials because he thinks porn, like contraception, is bad for you.”

As we blogged last week, The Daily Caller noted it was possible for Santorum to go after pornography distributors form a legal standpoint, which brought this issue to the forefront. They also noted he could perhaps block foreign porn websites from American eyeballs using a mandatory filter.

Hustler Magazine publisher and noted First Amendment advocate Larry Flynt has responded to Santorum, and says the stuff of his trade is harmless.

“You have guys like Santorum come along and they bring out the bogeyman every chance they get,” Flynt said, according to MSNBC. “You will be hard-pressed to find anyone that can point out to you a study that shows harm is caused to anyone exposed to porn materials.”

Steven Hirsh, of Vivid Entertainment, a pornography distributor, is quoted as reiterating Flynt’s ideas on the matter.

“I find it ironic that Republicans (like Santorum) are out there wanting less government and government intruding into our lives, but when it comes to moral issues they want government to legislate morality,” he said. “It doesn’t work. It will never work.”

Although Santorum has gone to his website to attack porn, both Romney and Gingrich have shared similar sentiments about enforcing obscenity laws. In the early campaign season, some Republican presidential candidates signed onto anti-porn pledges. Santorum has noted in the past that former President John F. Kennedy’s speech about the separation of church and state has made him want to puke.

Still, Hirsh says he’d make a deal with Santorum: “We will stay out of his church, and he will stay out of our bedrooms.”

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