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Nationally syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage is formally reviving his Internet war with likely presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
Savage’s disdain for the former Senator from Pennsylvania reached epic levels in 2003 when the writer launched one of the first successful Google bombs in the modern political era. This bomb ensured that one of the top Google search results for the Republican’s last name is a sexual definition that can’t fully be repeated here.
The feud had grown rather stale until last week when Roll Call published an interview with Santorum about his continued “Google problem.”
The coverage caught Savage’s eye, prompting him to levy a renewed threat Wednesday in his nationally syndicated column.
“The website that’s still giving Rick Santorum fits — www.spreadingsantorum.com — hasn’t been updated since 2004. But we will be re-launching the site in the next few weeks,” Savage wrote. “Stay tuned!”
When he spoke to Roll Call, Santorum largely dismissed the Google issue.
“It’s one guy,” Santorum said, referring to Savage. “You know who it is. ... It’s unfortunate that we have someone who obviously has some issues.”
Savage didn’t get back to Roll Call when it tried to track him down last week, but he responded to Santorum’s comments in Wednesday’s column.
“I do have issues — I have lots of issues — but I take particular issue with politicians who compare loving, stable same-sex relationships to ‘man on dog’ sex, as Santorum has done, or who would ban same-sex marriage and adoptions by same-sex couples, as Santorum has promised to do if he gets elected president,” Savage wrote.
“But the lowercase s santorum campaign wasn’t ‘one guy.’ A lot of people were involved — from the Savage Love reader who first suggested that we redefine his name to all the folks who’ve written about it over the years (thanks, Roll Call!) — just like a lot of people were involved in turning Rick Santorum out of office in 2006, an election he lost by an 18-point santorumslide.”
The Roll Call story also was noticed by Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, who on Monday night cited the piece and urged his viewers to keep Googling the former Senator.
Santorum is among the most active prospective presidential candidates this year, having visited the key early battleground states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina almost 30 times combined so far.
His performance in early polling is underwhelming, but he is making the case to become the favorite for cultural conservatives.