Politics

01.07.12

Rick Santorum Confronted by Angry Black Voter in New Hampshire

While campaigning in the Granite State, Rick Santorum was confronted by an African-American voter who demanded an explanation for his recent comments about race and welfare.

Rick Santorum is discovering that New Hampshire is a minefield of media opportunity—especially for folks who disagree with him.

At a meet-and-greet Saturday afternoon in the town of Hollis, in the parking lot of a pharmacy that has become a popular mingling area for Republican presidential candidates, the former Pennsylvania senator was ambushed by a young African-American woman.

“Why do you have a problem with black people?” demanded Santorum’s interlocutor. Wearing black-leather gloves, she grasped the candidate’s hand and didn’t let go. “Why did you say that only black people get aid?”

Wearing black-leather gloves,she grasped the candidate’s hand and didn’t let go.

“I didn’t,” Santorum answered as the media scrum, in the midst of a crowd of voters, duly recorded the confrontation for posterity. (Actually he did imply something pretty close to that during comments last Sunday in Iowa.) As quickly as possible, he retreated to the safety of his black SUV and, in due course, was whisked away.

Santorum’s antagonist, the latest in a series who have argued up close and personally with the candidate as the New Hampshire primary draws near, later identified herself as Patricia Point “from New England” but not the Granite State.

After Santorum’s motorcade transported him to debate prep for Saturday night’s ABC News–hosted candidate confab, Point said she was a supporter of President Obama but visiting New Hampshire on her own.

“I feel vindicated,” she said after her Santorum moment.  “I wanted to look him in the eye…It’s never fun dealing with racism.”

Point was gloveless as she talked about the encounter. Asked if she had been wearing gloves during her handshake with Santorum because she didn’t want to risk skin-on-skin contact, she answered, “I don’t.”