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Issue One: Rick Santorum

Written by Susan Mannella on .

Illogical jobs talk

Much of the reaction to Rick Santorum's recent statements have focused on his distaste for President Kennedy's endorsement of the separation of church and state and Mr. Santorum's attack on President Barack Obama's desire to have students attend college. But something else caught my attention in Mr. Santorum's "Meet the Press" appearance last Sunday. He defended his lack of support for extending unemployment benefits by explaining that people on unemployment too long lose their skills. Therefore, to retain their skills and get back to work, people need to get off unemployment compensation.

That line of thinking suggests that there are jobs waiting for people on unemployment -- an idea at odds with the Republican mantra that there are no jobs because of President Obama's "job-killing policies."

The former senator's logic is faulty, just as it is in attacking the 1960 Kennedy speech and President Obama's desire to have more people attend post-secondary schools. If the jobs were out there, there would be no need to extend the benefits.

EARL H. McDANIEL
NOrth Versailles

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Sheer lunacy

Though I understand Rick Santorum's need to comment about the separation of state and religion, his statement that President John F. Kennedy's opinion that separation was "absolute" almost made him throw up effectively eliminates Mr. Santorum as a candidate in my mind.

Our increasing obsessions about "religious qualifications" of presidential candidates is sheer lunacy and has already made the United States the laughingstock of the world.

What about this quote, Mr. Santorum? "We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate." -- President Ronald Reagan, Oct. 26, 1984.

WILLIAM McCARTHY
West Mifflin

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Situational Rick

Regarding former Sen. Rick Santorum's revelation that President Kennedy almost made him throw up: I find it interesting that then-Rep. Santorum did not have this particular reflex when first announcing his intention to run for the U.S. Senate in front of the Kennedy statue in Mc- Keesport in the shadow of the old U.S. Steel National Tube Works.

Perhaps we would do well to ask what other positions taken by Mr. Santorum in his quest for the Republican nomination are only situational. His newfound concern for the welfare of the working class comes to mind.

DAVID WASSEL
White Oak

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