The timing of Santorum's original rise occurred as the Roman Catholic Church created a cause célèbre by objecting to President Obama's proposal that Catholic-run institutions, including hospitals and medical facilities, be required to offer health insurance that provides contraception for women who request it.
The Catholic Church has long been an enemy of emerging technology, especially when it comes to reproductive health, opposing any technology that alters the 'natural' scheme of sex and reproduction. Quixotically, the focus on sex is unique and is, needless to say, inconsistent with the running of hospitals, which by their very nature do daily battle against otherwise naturally occurring disease and death.
That Rick Santorum rigorously followed the Vatican's hard line stance is not surprising. It is a little more surprising, perhaps, that Newt Gingrich was similarly opposed, as in other areas he has never met a futuristic technology he didn't like.
One might have been tempted to ask Newt Gingrich, weeks ago when he still appeared to be a viable candidate, whether he and his Catholic wife practiced contraception during their eight-year affair in order to hide any obvious evidence of their indiscretion.