Speed Reads

family matters

Rick Santorum's grandfather knew Hitler

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum shared a surprising piece of family history in an interview with The Daily Caller on Monday: His grandfather knew Hitler. That's not to say the two were chummy. In fact, Santorum's grandfather, who fought for Austria-Hungary in World War I, found Hitler to be an "idiot," Santorum told The Daily Caller. "He knew Hitler. 'Hitler was a loudmouth, idiot — nobody paid any attention to him,' that's what he told me."

Santorum first revealed his grandfather's ties to Hitler when he was discussing his family's immigration history on the campaign trail, and was asked just how his grandfather, Pietro Santorum, managed to immigrate to America after the Emergency Quota Act of 1921. Turns out, Pietro was born in Riva del Garda — once a part of Austria — and that's how he dodged the act that was "designed to stop southern Europeans and Jews," Santorum explained. Pietro's family, however, were Italians and had to wait seven years to become U.S. citizens.