Rick Santorum's Tragic Yearbook Photo Comes Back to Haunt Him

Gingrich and Romney are facing questions about conduct earlier in their lives. But even the squeaky-clean Pennsylvanian is dogged by questions from his past.

santorum_richard.jpg

If there's been one overarching theme to the Republican presidential primary in the last week or two, it's been that past coming back to haunt the contenders. For Newt Gingrich, there's the coming interview with his second ex-wife, Marianne, in which she accuses him of asking for an open marriage. For Mitt Romney, it's been his career in private equity, a credential that seemed custom-made for the business-friendly GOP but has instead proved a millstone around his neck.

What about Rick Santorum, you ask? Clearly, it's this embarrassing yearbook photo, which The Atlantic first unearthed in May 2011 and which has been making the rounds around the Internet on Thursday. On the trail in South Carolina on Wednesday, Santorum -- in a not-so-veiled swipe at Gingrich -- said that he's never so much as sat on a couch with a woman other than his wife. It's tempting to blame that on the sideburns and vaguely flowered shirt seen in this photo, but, hey, it was the '70s.

You can see scrapbook treasures from the whole GOP field, including a few candidates who have since dropped out, in the gallery below.

Presented by

David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers political and global news. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

More in Politics

Just In