I'm going to have to defend Rick Santorum.
I've heard the recording several times now in which he seems to say "black people's lives". What it sounds like to me, though, is that he started to say "lives", realized he left out the word "people's" and started over.
The initial /b/ comes from starting with the mouth closed. (The same thing happened in an episode of Star Trek. The entire crew was intoxicated by something transmissible from person to person, including Data, the android. Someone expressed surprise at this and Data said, "If you prick me, do I not ... [b]leak?") It's also possible that the /b/ was really the /p/ from "people's" and he accidentally skipped over the intervening sounds. Trust me, both are quite possible.
Another reason people have misinterpreted Santorum's utterance is that we think of a long i as one phoneme, but it's a combination of /ah/ and /ee/. If you stop talking in the middle of it, all you get is the /ah/. So Santorum got out
"[b]lah--" before he went back to redo the phrase "people's lives".