Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign was always a longshot prospect. But the former Pennsylvania senator succeeded in one respect — he will no longer be remembered just for his stunning 17-point loss in the 2006 Pennsylvania Senate race.
Now that his campaign is over, here are the moments we think will be remembered of Santorum 2012, both good and bad.
* Calling “bulls---” on a question from New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny. Santorum went on to argue that “if you haven’t cursed out a New York Times reporter during the course of a campaign, you’re not really a real Republican.”
* Almost as memorable a jab came in February, when Santorum called President Obama a “snob” for thinking that every child should go to college: “There are good decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them.”
* Santorum’s emotional speech on the night of the Iowa caucuses was one of his best, tying together his social conservativism with an appeal to blue collar workers.
* Santorum’s debate performances were uneven, but in a late January CNN debate he effectively rattled Mitt Romney on Massachusetts’ health-care law.
* Though it didn’t attract widespread notice until February, last October Santorum said that John F. Kennedy’s speech on the separation of church and state “makes me want to throw up.” He initially defended the comment but later said he wished he could take it back.
* Santorum inspired a backlash from some fellow Republicans when he expressed concern about women in combat, saying the “types of emotions that are involved” could compromise a mission.
* In his concession speech, Santorum noted that he had helped stimulate the economy a little by selling his own American-made sweater vests. Here he is telling CNN the vests represent “the right to bare arms.”