Rick Santorum on Josh Duggar Sex Scandal: 'I’m Sickened By It'

by Jackie Willis 12:24 PM PDT, May 28, 2015
Playing Rick Santorum on Josh Duggar Sex Scandal: 'I’m Sickened By It'

Rick Santorum has joined the crowded race for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination, and one of the first questions thrown at him was in regards to allegations that 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar molested several underage girls when he was a teenager.

"I'm sickened by it," the former Pennsylvania Senator said of the scandal during a Good Morning America interview with George Stephanopoulos. "I'm just sickened by it. I pray for those girls, in particular. To have gone through that is just hard to think about."

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Members of the Duggar family were some of Santorum's biggest, most vocal supporters during his 2012 presidential campaign, where he was runner-up to Mitt Romney for the Republican Presidential nomination.

"[Santorum] is somebody that goes and really just votes from his heart and votes on his convictions, votes on things based on the Constitution of the United States and the Bible," Jim Bob Duggar said back in 2012. "And that's the kind of man we want to support."

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On May 10, Josh tweeted Santorum a birthday greeting. "Happy Birthday to my friend @RickSantorum," the 27-year-old wrote. "I appreciate your courage standing for truth!"

Meanwhile, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar seem to be throwing their support behind Santorum's running-mate Mike Huckabee. "Governor Huckabee is a man of faith who is very wise, and will help get our country back on track," Michelle wrote on the Arkansas governor's website.

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"America needs Governor Huckabee for president! Governor Huckabee has the communication skills of Ronald Reagan, and a common sense business approach to government," Jim Bob added.

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Huckabee has shown his support for the Duggars during their tough time. "Josh's actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn't mean 'unforgivable,'" Huckabee said on his Facebook page. " ... No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things."

As for the future of 19 Kids and Counting, TLC has currently pulled all future airings of the show and is possibly considering a spinoff that will follow Josh's younger sisters, Jill Dillard and Jessa Seawald, as they begin their new lives as married women.