Failed Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has claimed that same-sex marriage would hurt the economy.

The former Senator, who ran for president in 2012, made the comments ahead of his speech to the National Organisation for Marriage’s disastrous anti-gay rally.

He claimed to Townhall Media: “The family is the foundation of society, and marriage is the glue that holds the family together.

“When we continue to see a decline in marriage, and the redefinition of marriage, you get less marriage… You get families that aren’t as strong, and as a result, society generally – the economy – suffers.

“Every family is an economic unit, and when the family breaks apart, because we are saying marriage is not anything significant.

“When we have less of that in America, then society struggles and suffers economically.

“It’s important for us to stand up for what is best for children, what’s best for society, what’s best for the economy, and make that case.”

Most studies have found that introducing same-sex marriage leads to a significant boost to the state’s economy.

Less than 2000 people showed up to the event in DC yesterday, after NOM president Brian Brown sent a message “begging” members to show up.

Santorum was embarrassed last month, when a judge he personally endorsed struck down Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban.

He had previously said: “John Jones is another outstanding lawyer and has served not just as an outstanding lawyer, but served the community beyond the practice of law.

“He also went to the same law school I went to. So he also has an outstanding legal education.”