At a meet-and-greet Saturday afternoon in the town of Hollis, in the parking lot of a pharmacy that has become a popular mingling area for Republican presidential candidates, the former Pennsylvania senator was ambushed by a young African-American woman.
“Why do you have a problem with black people?” demanded Santorum’s interlocutor. Wearing black-leather gloves, she grasped the candidate’s hand and didn’t let go. “Why did you say that only black people get aid?”
“I didn’t,” Santorum answered as the media scrum, in the midst of a crowd of voters, duly recorded the confrontation for posterity. (Actually he did imply something pretty close to that during comments last Sunday in Iowa.) As quickly as possible, he retreated to the safety of his black SUV and, in due course, was whisked away.
Santorum’s antagonist, the latest in a series who have argued up close and personally with the candidate as the New Hampshire primary draws near, later identified herself as Patricia Point “from New England” but not the Granite State. After Santorum’s motorcade transported him to debate prep for Saturday night’s ABC News–hosted candidate confab, Point said she was a supporter of President Obama but visiting New Hampshire on her own.
“I feel vindicated,” she said after her Santorum moment. “I wanted to look him in the eye…It’s never fun dealing with racism.”
Point was gloveless as she talked about the encounter. Asked if she had been wearing gloves during her handshake with Santorum because she didn’t want to risk skin-on-skin contact, she answered, “I don’t.”
Does anyone else find this last paragraph bizarre? "Asked if she had been wearing gloves... because she didn't want to risk skin-on-skin contact..." What sort of question is that? What did this woman supposedly have to fear from a skin-on-skin handshake with Santorum? Can anyone imagine a reporter asking a white voter whether he or she feared skin-on-skin contact by shaking hands with a black candidate? Someone is being racist here and it isn't Santorum.