Huffpost Politics

Rick Santorum Calls Joe Paterno Question 'Insulting'

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Rick Santorum had a testy exchange Sunday when asked by a Chicago radio host whether his statements about the president and child pornography could be compared to Penn State's response to sexual abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Santorum's campaign website states that President Barack Obama "seems to favor pornographers over children and families" by failing to prioritize prosecution of child pornographers.

"If we were to replace ‘Barack Obama’ with the name 'Joe Paterno,' could we say that Joe Paterno seemed to be favoring a child rapist over the Penn State football program?" radio host Bruce DuMont asked Sunday, referring to the former Penn State football coach who resigned after allegations that he ignored reports that Sandusky had molested children.

Santorum attended Penn State and once sponsored Sandusky for a "Congressional Angels in Adoption" award. (The sexual abuse allegations had not yet surfaced at the time.)

"That's sort of an insulting question," Santorum replied, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's a ridiculous question, Sir, and I’m not going to answer it. You’re welcome to ask a question. That doesn’t mean I’m going to answer absurd questions."

Santorum repeated his claim that the president does not care about protecting children, saying "he's not."

DuMont later questioned Santorum, a member of the Catholic Church, about the church's history of covering up sexual abuse by priests.

"My job is not to grade the Catholic Church -- it [is] to talk about what I'd do as president of the United States ... I am concerned about protecting children," he said.

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