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Rick Santorum: Obama administration is soft on pornography

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Former Pennsylvania senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Sunday stood firm on his position that the Justice Department under President Obama “seems to favor pornographers over children and families.”

Asked to defend the statement, which appears on his campaign Web site, Santorum said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the proof “is in the prosecution.”

“Under the Bush administration, pornographers were prosecuted much more rigorously than they are under existing law, than they under the Obama administration,” Santorum said. “So you draw your conclusion.”

Santorum added that the Obama administration has “not put a priority on prosecuting these cases. And in doing so they are exposing children to a tremendous amount of harm.”

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Pressed on the issue during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Santorum said hardcore pornography is “very damaging” to young people and his campaign posted the statement in response to someone who inquired about Santorum’s position on prosecuting pornographers. Santorum pledged to enforce obscenity laws. (View the exchange starting at the 14:30 mark in the video above.)

“There are laws against purveying hardcore pornography,” Santorum said. “And that — we have attorney generals in the country, at least under the Bush administration, who did prosecute that. And this administration isn't. And I simply said I would follow the law, which I know in the case of Barack Obama can be somewhat of a hefty challenge for him, but we're going to do it as president.”

Politico reported in 2009 that the Obama administration appeared to be taking a softer approach to prosecuting obscenity cases than its predecessor when it quietly moved the venue of a case involving the interstate shipment of pornography from the conservative state of Montana to the more liberal New Jersey.

In 2005, the Bush administration created an Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, headed by then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that “focused on prosecuting fetish, bestiality and so-called fringe porn,” according to Politico.

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