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Michelle Duggar of '19 Kids' strolls into primary-season firestorm

March 29, 2012 |  1:57 pm

Michelle Duggar

TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" is one of the very few shows on TV that can make laundry day seem epic. But lately the brood's activities are getting some unusual attention -- from the Beltway.

Michelle Duggar, the busy matriarch raising 19 kids (she recently miscarried the 20th), is now raising eyebrows by saying that the notion of overpopulation is "a lie."

"Because really, the entire population of the world, if they were stood shoulder to shoulder, could fit in the city limits of Jacksonville," Duggar told the Christian Broadcasting Network. "So if you realize that aspect of it, you realize that we're nowhere near being overpopulated." The comments have sparked both derision and support online, thanks in no small part to a recent firestorm over government-funded contraception.

Meanwhile, this week the Duggar clan's tireless efforts on behalf of the fiery Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum were profiled by Politico, a major online news source for political junkies.

"Members of the clan follow Santorum from stop-to-stop, collecting donations from supporters and talking up the former Pennsylvania senator’s values and policy stances," Politico wrote. "The Duggars themselves often serve as a second attraction to the candidate, signing family autographs with Bible verses." 

At this point, the Duggar clan might be big enough to constitute a political movement all by itself. But in a sharply divided partisan landscape where most TV stars try to avoid making overt political appeals, the Duggars' stance is striking.

What do you think of their advocacy?


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-- Scott Collins

Photo: Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, with daughter Josie, have waded into political debates. Credit: Scott Enlow / TLC