Election 2012

Santorum lauds ‘American Patriots’ in new book

Santorum lauds 'American Patriots' in new book

The runner-up for the GOP presidential nomination spoke Oct. 5 to Human Events about his new book, “American Patriots” and his going back on the campaign trail for Republican nominee W. Mitt Romney.

As the Nov. 6 election gets closer and closer, the Romney campaign has been making better, fuller use of his support of the former Massachusetts governor, said Richard J. “Rick” Santorum, who represented Pennsylvania, first in the House, and then in the Senate from 1991 to 2007.

“There is no question they have been engaging us more, which is great,” he said.

Santorum said he did not know what to expect, so he went ahead with his own plans, such as starting Patriots Voices, a new political action committee to promote candidates and work the new book.

“I’ve got a lot of dates and events I am doing for other candidates, as well as Governor Romney,” he said.

“We had put together our own schedule, so now we are making the two of them both work as they have asked us to do more,” he said.

“American Patriots” was inspired by the thousands of people the former senator met across the country on his presidential campaign, he said. In that effort, he collected 245 delegates with convincing victories in states such as Kansas, Tennessee and close-seconds in Mississippi and Michigan.

The book itself is a collection of short biographies of 25 participants in the War for Independence, many who were famous in their day, but now all virtually forgotten men and women, he said. The 25 names were winnowed down from 100 names based on who provided the most variety and gave the best examples of American Exceptionalism.

“These are people we don’t hear about,” he said.

“We wanted the book to be about whom we are and the people who won us our freedom, and what that freedom meant,” he said.

Throughout the book, Santorum said he worked the ideas Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness into the narrative, which to him are the basis of what is meant by the term: American Exceptionalism.

“It really came from the experience I had on the road,” he said.

“The purpose of the book is to be a source of inspiration for people, who might think: ‘I am only one person and I can’t make a difference,” he said.

“You know what? There were a whole lot of people in the Revolution that you never heard of—and they did amazing things, and sometimes it was just one thing, but their country needed them and they stepped up and did what they were asked to do,” he said.

The story of Peter Francisco was so amazing that Santorum said he was afraid it was not true.

Some of the best parts of the story, he left out because he wanted to only include solid information, he said. Francisco fought in such battles as Monmouth Courthouse, Brandywine, Cowpens and Guilford Courthouse. At the Battle of Stony Point, he continued to fight with a long gash in his stomach and was the second man to enter for English fort, where he then killed three English soldiers.

“He was a giant of a man, and he performed heroic deeds at critical junctures throughout the course of the Revolution,” he said.

“I was thinking: ‘This guy couldn’t have done all this stuff,’” he said.

“He did incredible things, and I had never heard of the guy,” he said.

“Francisco, who was Portuguese, was one of the supermen of the American Revolution, an immigrant, an orphan, someone who in today’s world would have been considered someone, who would not amount to much,” he said.

Another example is a mother who became a spy, Philadelphia Quaker Lydia Darraugh, who was not even a patriot, her son John was, he said. “She started to move in that direction because her son was out there fighting, and she turns out to provide critical information about an attack that was going to take place—and maybe saved George Washington’s life.”

George Washington is a constant presence throughout the book, but not by design, the senator said.

“It’s funny,” he said.

“I did not pick people for their relationship with Washington,” he said.

“But, one of the things that struck me, was how pervasive Washington is in the narrative of people,” he said. “But, you can see what a dominant figure he was in the Revolution and how relevant he was to motivating –I talk a lot about this on the campaign, define the role of leadership in our country—we read it in the Bible that without vision the people will perish—George Washington provided not just the vision, but provided the quiet confidence that was inspirational for the country.”

The book was a response to the anxiety Santorum said he found in people around the nation.

“As I traveled the country and really perceived that folks were genuinely concerned about the future of our country, concerned about America and our identity—or whether we were going to be a very different country,” he said.

“Romney has alluded to it in his first debate, and it was central to my campaign,” he said.

“Big things are at stake: the foundational principles of our country are at stake in this election,” he said.

President Barack Obama is a man, who believes in government, and not people, Santorum said. “Not in the American revolutionary spirit, if you will.”

Santorum said when he was campaigning; he talked about how the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution work together. “One, the Declaration, is the ‘why’ of America and the other, the Constitution is the ‘how’ of America—and it really resonated out there for us, it is one of the reasons we did as well as we did.”

From this starting place, it is then possible to show people why it is important to support certain programs and oppose others, he said. “Then, you can explain to people why we are designing programs the way we are, based on people not government, because that is what has worked for America.”

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