Just when you think Rick Santorum’s sanctimonious social conservatism couldn’t be any more repellent, HuffPo digs up this lovely little turd from 1994:

“What we say is that in order for Mom to be able to go on welfare if she has a child out of wedlock, you have to tell us who the father is,” Santorum said at an event in Carlisle, Pa., on April 1, 1994. “If you don’t tell us who the father is, you’re not eligible for any welfare benefits, none, not even medical care. You tell us who the father is or you don’t receive benefits.”

Santorum argued that his proposal could persuade single women to slow their sex lives, which, in turn, would lead to less out-of-wedlock parenting. “If Mom knows that she isn’t gonna receive welfare if she doesn’t tell us who Dad is, y’know maybe she’ll be a little more careful, maybe,” he said.

“Or maybe she gives us a list, say ‘Well it could be one of five,’” Santorum went on. “I mean, y’know, I don’t know what she’s gonna do, but at some point we’re gonna see her cooperate.”

Santorum’s proposal raised a number of questions. For instance, what if the mother wasn’t sure of the father’s identity? To that possibility, he proposed even greater government involvement.

“We say to Mom that you tell us the wrong name, and we’ll bring that guy in and we’ll do a blood test and that’s not Dad, you lose your welfare benefits,” he said at another event that same day in New Bloomfield. “You lose your welfare benefits … Not till you tell us another name, but till we find out who Dad is, we establish it.”

It’s kind of visionary, really.  Almost 20 years before Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a prostitute and Republicans demanded drug tests for unemployment applicants, Rick Santorum combined fiscal conservatism’s victim-blaming and social conservatism’s’ slut-shaming into one perfectly cruel, sexist package.  Bravo!

Santorum hasn’t been stupid enough to say anything like this on the 2012 campaign trail, but he hasn’t exactly repudiated these or any of his other vile anti-women statements either.  So far, his campaign is deploying a mix of “Some of Rick’s best friends are women!  He’s even married to one!” and “90s Mitt Romney said stupid shit too!”, which would probably not win him a whole lot of non-Republican women votes if he were to somehow make it to the general election.

If Mitt Romney is very lucky, maybe Obama’s oppo team will wear themselves out trying to find examples of Mitt saying something dumber than “If you don’t tell us who the father is, you’re not eligible for any welfare benefits.”