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Summit speaker: Rick Santorum

Patrick Novecosky chats with Rick Santorum, a speakers at Legatus’ 2014 Summit . . . 

Senator Rick Santorum

Senator Rick Santorum

If you have the chance to meet Sen. Rick Santorum, don’t ask him to sit down for a cup of coffee. The presidential candidate and two-term U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania eschews caffeine. At 55 years old, he still has plenty of energy to fight the good fight. He’s taking it to the culture these days as the president of EchoLight Studios, which produces and distributes movies for families of faith. Legatus editor Patrick Novecosky talked to him.

I know you get this question all the time, but I need to ask: How’s Bella?

She’s doing just great. As a matter of fact, we just had her up for a whole round of her usual doctor visits and they’re amazed at how well she’s doing. We feel so blessed to have her and to have her healthy. She’s getting bigger and mom and dad are getting older, so we’re putting an elevator in the house and designing a handicapped bedroom/bathroom combination. We’re trying to make it a home that Bella can be in for a long time.

You’re a familiar face to Legatus members. What’s something about Rick Santorum that most folks don’t know?

I don’t sleep much. I only sleep four to five hours a night even when I have time to sleep. It’s conditioning from having a busy schedule and trying to make time for family in the evening. And I don’t drink caffeine. I don’t touch the stuff. I don’t drink anything that is stimulative in nature. I’m blessed with enough natural energy to do that.

Here’s something that’s more faith-oriented, and I ask people to pray for me: I struggle constantly with distractions during prayer. I take time for prayer and my mind is going a million miles per hour. I was at Mass with Legatus in Philadelphia, and the reading was on Martha and Mary, and I’m like, “Wow! I’m a complete Martha.” The contemplative side of me is something I need to work on. I think a lot of folks struggle with that.

I think it would be helpful for them to know they’re not alone — especially people in Legatus. Most everybody in Legatus is a Type A. That’s why you’re in Legatus, so it’s a natural Type A thing to be a Martha.

Last year you launched Patriot Voices to mobilize conservatives. Then in June, you became head of EchoLight Studios. Why film?

Film has a huge impact on culture, which has a huge impact on society and politics and the country. Why film versus other arts? There’s a level of engagement in film at the theater that you’re not going to get when you’re at home watching a DVD. There’s much more opportunity for shaping the culture.

You were so close to getting the Republican nod for President. Will you run in 2016?

People always ask me if I’m running, and I tell them I’m walking. I’m trying to walk the path where God’s leading me, and right now he’s leading me to EchoLight Studios.

Running for president is not an easy thing on the family. When your family is under the microscope, it takes a toll. We are assessing those things and following the path God wants us to walk, and that’s what we’ll end up doing.

PATRICK NOVECOSKY is Legatus magazine’s editor-in-chief.