As he tests the waters by visiting the early battleground states, Rick Santorum appears eager to take a plunge into the 2012 presidential race. The former Pennsylvania senator, whose Fox News contract was suspended pending his decision on a presidential run, announced last week that he would participate in the first presidential debate on May 5 in Greenville, South Carolina. The chairman of the political action committee America's Foundation was on his way to Le Mars, Iowa, the self-described ice cream capital of the world, when he spoke with CT about Muslims in America, being targeted by gay activists, and why he gives President Obama credit on one issue.

If you ran for President, how would you distinguish yourself from other candidates?

I had the courage and the conviction to stand up, particularly to a lot of the multicultural issues that folks tend to shy away from. You pay a price when you stand up and fight the abortion culture and the gay community, and the media tries to paint you as a fringe character when you fight on these issues. The family needs a voice, the unborn need a voice, those who are going to be victims of healthcare need a voice, and those who are disabled need a voice. I was always the one to take a bullet to get something done that I thought was important for the moral future of our country.

How much do you think Christians should consider a candidate's faith when deciding whether to vote for them or not?

Voters should consider the candidate's moral framework and what they believe about right and wrong. Obviously your faith has a role in that, in constructing your moral view and your worldview, your ethical code. As far as theological tenets goes, those don't necessarily affect the public discourse. ...

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