Former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum (PA) has a problem: he's eying a run for president, but his name recognition is weak. And Google, as it turns out, isn't really helping his brand image.


Enter "Rick Santorum" into a Google search and you should get over half a million results. But two out of the top four are references to a sexual neologism coined as a tribute to Santorum's past denunciations of homosexuality.

The neologism? Anal sex.

It was created in 2003 by the openly gay sex columnist Dan Savage after Santorum, then a member of the Republican leadership, made controversial remarks likening homosexuality to "incest" and "adultery." He told The Associated Press that acceptance of gay sex could "undermine the fabric of our society" and lead to "man on child, man on dog" relations.

In response, Savage created the website SpreadingSantorum.com, asking readers to offer definitions for the word "Santorum," from which a winner would later be determined by a vote. It went viral.

The winning definition -- hide the kids -- was "the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex." It lives on in Google searches, and gained so much attention it has since become a leading search item for the former Republican senator's name.

“The Internet allows for this type of vulgarity to circulate," a "slightly defeated" Santorum told Roll Call, which reported on his Google problem Wednesday. "It’s unfortunate that we have someone who obviously has some issues. But he has an opportunity to speak."

He lamented that he wasn't able to do anything about the problem as it would constitute an infringement of First Amendment rights.

The issue was profiled by Stephanie Mencimer at Mother Jones last fall, who more bluntly called it "Rick Santorum's Anal Sex Problem."

Santorum served 12 years in the Senate between 1995 and 2007 and, before that, four years in the House. He's a contributor to the Fox News Channel and regularly appears at conservative events, leading to widespread rumors that he may run for president in 2012.