- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Count former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum among those welcoming Jon Huntsman to the GOP presidential race by mocking the recent dirt-bike videos the former Utah governor’s camp has posted online.

This time Mr. Santorum points to a parody video that takes aim at the pro-life credentials of Mr. Huntsman and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

In the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov_wKKB4W88) posted on Mr. Santorum’s Twitter account, a lone rider zips through the desert, hits a jump and then wipes out on the landing after a message appears on the screen reminding viewers that Mr. Huntsman and Mr. Romney have yet to sign the Susan B. Anthony List’s pro-life pledge, which Mr. Santorum and four other Republican presidential hopefuls have embraced.

“Hasn’t signed the anti-abortion pledge. Just like Mitt Romney,” the ad subtitle says.

Both Mr. Huntsman and Mr. Romney say they are pro-lifers on the question of abortion. Mr. Huntsman formally joined the race with an address near the Statue of Liberty Tuesday morning.

The Santorum posted video fails to mention that former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, also in the GOP nominating race, have yet to sign the pledge as well.

The pro-life pledge — posted at http://www.sba-list.org/2012pledge — requires candidates, among other things, to promise to name abortion opponents to Cabinet positions, including the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services. It also calls on them to push legislation to end all taxpayer funding of abortions in domestic and international spending programs.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann also has taken aim at Mr. Romney, the nominal front-runner in the race, whose pro-life position has evolved over his political career.

Mr. Romney has said that he shares the goals of pro-life pledge, but that “its well-meaning pledge is overly broad and would have unintended consequences.”

“It is one thing to end federal funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood; it is entirely another to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America,” he said. ” That is precisely what the pledge would demand and require of a president who signed it.”

He added, “The pledge also unduly burdens a president’s ability to appoint the most qualified individuals to a broad array of key positions in the federal government. … I would expect every one of my appointees to carry out my policies on abortion and every other issue, irrespective of their personal views.”

In recent days, the Harley-riding Mr. Huntsman has run a series of video ads online that feature country music, messages about the Utah governor’s imminent entry into the presidential race and a lone rider streaking across a desert on a dirt-bike.