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Rick Santorum tries to solve his Google problem

September 21, 2011|By Colby Itkowitz, Morning Call
(Chip Somodevilla / Getty…)

Reporting from Washington — Presidential hopeful and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum doesn't make headlines like his other Republican contenders, but his name was trending sixth Wednesday in nationwide Google searches. And it's not because of a policy speech or a surge in the polls. It's because he talked about his "Google problem."

He blasted the Internet company in an interview with Politico Tuesday and reportedly asked Google to remove a site that redefines his name in graphic, sexual terms. When Santorum's name is searched, that site is the first that appears.

"I suspect if something was up there like that about Joe Biden, they'd get rid of it," Santorum told Politico. "If you're a responsible business, you don't let things like that happen in your business that have an impact on the country. To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can't handle but I suspect that's not true."

Columnist Dan Savage started the site in 2003 in response to anti-gay comments Santorum made in an interview with the Associated Press. This summer on the website FunnyorDie.com, Savage threatened to redefine Santorum's first name too if he campaigned for president on an anti-gay platform.

By rehashing the issue though, Santorum makes it worse, notes the Huffington Post. Every time he talks about it, it sends more people to the fake site.

Not ideal for a man who is trying to increase in name identification across the country.

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