Rick Santorum & Wife Karen Show a Side We Can All Relate To (VIDEOS)

rick santorum and karen santorum

So far during this campaign, it's been mostly only social conservatives who have been able to connect with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. But today during a CafeMom forum in front of more than 100 moms in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the former senator -- along with his wife and mother of their seven children, Karen -- showed a much more relatable side. 

Together the couple answered moms' questions about education, the military, and the impact of popular culture on our children. Here are some of their more candid moments:

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From the start of the discussion, Karen had no qualms about admitting that the campaign is a family affair and, like any job, requires juggling and balance -- particularly with seven kids. And, she was careful not to sugarcoat the days that haven't run as smoothly as they would have liked: Apparently, since the campaign began, their refrigerator has broken down, their car has broken down twice, and their basement flooded twice. Yet, the Santorums say these obstacles only strengthen them in their resolve of "being real folks trying to do a job and reflect the values of other real folks."

Another "real life" moment came when the couple joked about what it was like watching TV in their household and trying to shield their children from the more, uh, inappropriate messages in pop culture. According to Karen, she often tells the kids, "Turn your head away! Rick hit the zapper!" It was a funny moment, but Santorums' point was completely serious: Parents shouldn't have to fight to protect their kids about what comes into their house.

The most emotional moment of the discussion was when a mom in the audience with a special needs child asked about the Santorums' daughter, Bella, who has Trisomy 18. We've covered Rick talking about her on The Stir before, but the couple went into the situation with even more detail. Karen broke down and tearfully talked about how when Bella was born she was falling apart, but Rick was an emotional rock. Together the two -- along with their family -- they loved and supported Bella and fought for her life and now she is a joyful, happy, beautiful 3-and-a-half-year-old girl.

Of course, Karen has her own moments of being a rock for Rick and keeping him on track -- as was evident when she reminded him to "answer the question" when he got a little bit off message near the end of the discussion. Karen's role of the ever-supportive spouse was very apparent when she offered these final words to the audience:

"They say vote with your conscience, I say vote for my husband."

 

The Santorums talk about having their kids with them on the campaign trail:

Watch the Santorums talk about role of stay-at-home moms in America:

Rick and Karen Santorum talk about having their kids on the campaign trail:

What Karen put words in Rick's mouth:

 

Image via Lindsay Eisenstadt/CafeMom

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