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July 27, 2012 4:57 PM Rick Santorum Still Waiting For “Real Facts” On Penn State Scandal

By Minjae Park

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh released his report detailing how Penn State officials failed to act upon learning Jerry Sandusky sexually abused children. The NCAA imposed a heavy punishment on Penn State that includes a four-year ban on bowl games, a $60 million fine, and a vacation of the football program’s victories since 1998. The matter seemed settled.

Apparently, Rick Santorum disagrees. The former Republican presidential candidate thinks “there is going to be a whole new line set on what really went on there” when the real facts come out.

In an interview with Dallas-Ft. Worth’s KSKY 660 AM on Friday, Santorum, a Penn State alum, called the evidence “pretty darn thin” and said, “I’m sort of sitting back and waiting for the facts to come out as opposed to, at least as I’m being told, a version of the facts.”

He criticized the Freeh report, saying “a lot of the conclusions in the Freeh report aren’t matched by the evidence that they presented.” He said he read the 267-page report.

Let’s remember, it was Penn State that appointed Freeh to investigate the sex-abuse allegations. The Freeh-led group, after conducting 430 interviews and analyzing “3.5 million pieces of pertinent electronic data and documents,” concluded that there was “total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s victims.”

Santorum was asked about the sex-abuse scandal toward the end of his interview, so had little time to elaborate, but he did not point to any conclusion in the report that he thought was unjustified.

We know Santorum is good at finding controversy in settled issues. He holds strong views on topics that others have long moved past. During his campaign, he said John F. Kennedy’s famous speech on religion made him want to puke. He called President Obama a “snob” for wanting students to pursue higher education.

At least those topics were relevant to the campaign. He didn’t need to weigh in on this one.

Minjae Park is an intern at the Washington Monthly.