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February 15th, 2012
09:38 PM ET

Rick Santorum on Whitney Houston: "You see in a sense the royalty of America setting such a poor example"

In a candid and revealing interview, this evening Rick Santorum returned to "Piers Morgan Tonight," offering insight into the recent death of Whitney Houston.

Sitting down with Piers Morgan, the Republican presidential candidate addressed the issues of abuse and addiction, offering his perspective on the behavior of stars in Hollywood:

"You see in a sense the royalty of America setting such a poor example. And being troubled by these things, then obviously it's going to have a downstream effect, and a very harmful downstream effect."

In the aftermath of Houston's passing, Santorum addressed the role and responsibility of those he referred to as "the aristocracy of America":

"They're the kings, and the queens, and the princes of our society," said Santorum. "They have a huge impact on the rest of society. Much more than any other group, certainly much more than a politician does. And that's why this is so disturbing."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as Santorum details his position on prescription drugs, and the addictive behavior of celebrities.

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  1. Jeffrey Biegel

    There has always been focus on celebrities. But not only the bad and sad stories, there are many who do great things for humankind, and these should be focused on as well. In further developing an ongoing music project in the works to honor our veterans, who put themselves in the line of deadly fire–many perish, others return scathed from war, fallen from society–I have been receiving emails from people that our society needs to continue to recognize those who have threatened their own existence–not by drugs or addictions, but for the sake of freedom. As a musician dedicated to preserving the human spirit, to further our musical heritage and provide music for the history of this century, take a look at this link and see how we can fuse reality of our world with music: jakerunestad.com/home/DreamsOfTheFallen.html
    True, we all find complete sadness in the tragedies that fall upon people; everyday hard working men and women, and the celebrities who have given us music which reflects our own lives and emotions. I am not sure we have to label aristocracies, or label anyone. Everyone has a place to be recognized.

    February 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Frank

    Piers, the segment on your show this evening on Whitney H left me perplexed. Other than a Dr. over prescribing drugs, like in the Michael J case, the only person that should be held accountable for her early death is herself. Family, friends and people in her presence could have done more, and should have (tough to do with a Diva like W), but as far as "held accountable" only an over prescribing or ill-prescribing Dr could be held accountable.
    The upside to this tragedy is that it is illuminating a very real problem that exists all over the place. That problem is the potentially lethal combination of pharm drugs and alcohol. I think it finally hit us all, i hope, right between the eyes! Thank you for that!

    Frank

    February 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. MotherLodeBeth

    How about the media who spends days, weeks, months on a few celebrities who mess up, while the majority never do dumb things? And how about we blame the individual who chose the poor choices? Personally I could care less about a Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Anna Nicole Smith (hope I spelled their names right).

    February 15, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Rachel

    All of these tragic deaths are a message,its time for everyone to listen and help those around us that we know are suffering from this terrible disease...ADDICTION....from family,friends,agents,managers,and pharmacists!! Enough is Enough !

    February 16, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. kathy

    I totally loved whitney and am very sadden by her death! I live in British columbia, canada and my job is a pharmacy tech, we have a goverment data base that records all prescriptions put through all pharmacies and there is no way that person could abuse the system as we can see all records when we fill a new prescription we then report to the doctor if the patient is abusing!

    Kathy

    February 16, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. victoria

    The problem in America is that for the common people in this country when they are medication seeking and or have addictive personalities, a restriction is placed on them which means they are restricted to only one doctor and one pharmacy. If they try to “doctor shop” or “pharmacy shopping” it will and suppose to show up in the system that that person is restricted to one doctor and one pharmacy to try to make sure that person does not got from doctor to doctor and pharmacy from pharmacy. When it comes to famous people on the other hand, shouldn’t they too be limited or put on restrictions if they are already on restrictions? But the problem is as a society, we have the haves and haves not. We know that the way famous people are treated in this country verses the way a common person like me will be treated is part of the problem.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Felecia

    The level of disrespect is quite disturbing. Who on this earth has lived a perfect life? For all who are rushing to judgement on her mistakes, poor choices I ask you if your life was under a microscope what would turn up? Lets not forget we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Please, for the sake of her family lets remember the golden rule. For those of you arguing the teachable moments in this, let it rest until her family has had time to say their final goodbyes. For those of you insisting on running the images of her please do honest reporting and put the year of the photos so that we can have a more accurate reflection. The images at the Jackson tribute where she was very thin, what year was that? The remake of Sparkle, where it is reported that she went into rehab to get ready for the movie, when did the filming end? What role did she play in the movie. In all the outrage, no one has reported on the storyline of Sparkle, a singer who dies from drug abuse. Given Whitney's history, why was there not a clause in the contract to require rehab after the movie filming ended? I understand Whitney is ultimately responsible for her own actions but I hope we start looking at the industry's role in all of this. Has anyone asked the question, done the research on who introduced her to the drugs. Jennifer Holiday shared that her drug use started before Bobby Brown, is anyone researching when it all began? Please share the timeline to present a true and accurate representation. I'm also saddened by the reporting of objections to lowering the flags in her hometown- I find it hard to believe that that view is representative of most citizens. Again, asking for fair, balanced and respectful reporting at such a time as this. Thank you

    February 16, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tyler

    Notice how he had to squeeze in there that celebrities or royalty over politicians? He had to squeeze that in there. He thinks politicians have more rights to that status. Don't be fooled by this man.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Brenda Hughes

    PLEASE LET KNOW, WE APPRCIATE WHITNEY'S FAMILY LETTING US BE APART OF HER FUNERAL/AWAKENING, THANKS FOR ALL THE TESTIMONIES OF HER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD, GOD BLESS YOU,THANKS, PRAYING TOO, LOVE THE HUGHES'♥

    February 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Inter

      Thank you. I lit a candle knoniwg that only light shining into the darkness can stop the abuse.I will be adding a link to your blog from mine.

      March 3, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marko

      I just went through a very abivuse realationship and have 2 young children with the abuser and have applied already for the disability but, was not aware this is a disability too! I am looking to get back on my feet for my childrens sake and could use funding to do so.. How can you help me??jennifer burt

      March 4, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Timothy Martin

    Santorum has never known a great artist, and, perhaps, a great anything. Greatness is never only black and white, it's never only right or wrong, it's never only moral or immoral: it just IS! It has a life of its own, governed often by seemingly irrational forces. These aren't excuses, it's just how it is. It's more than often that an artists' weakness enables them to channel their greatness and not their strengths. Artistry by definition is ineffable and immense; it comes and it never goes. It may be lost, but it never goes... What Whitney left us is here to stay. Santorum is neither special or profound, two ingredients that greatness can't be without.

    February 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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    February 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Abdullah

    Thanks so much for featuring my ercent post on your blog. I'm glad you seemed to enjoy it and look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the subject. All the best!

    March 3, 2012 at 1:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. frankfrankf

    You can't separate pease from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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