September 1st, 2010
12:44 PM ET
4 years ago

Santorum to challenge Kennedy speech in Texas

Santorum will take on one of JFK's most famous speeches next week.
Santorum will take on one of JFK's most famous speeches next week.

(CNN) - As he contemplates a run for president, Rick Santorum has decided to take on the premise of one of President John F. Kennedy's most famous speeches.

The former Pennsylvania senator, who lost his reelection bid in 2006 and has expressed interest in running for the White House, will deliver a speech in Houston, Texas next week titled "A Charge to Revive the Role of Faith in the Public Square."

The speech, to be delivered at the University of St. Thomas, is being billed as a challenge to the speech Kennedy delivered in Houston 50 years ago, during which the then-senator and presidential candidate famously addressed concerns about his Catholicism.

In the now-historic speech in which he sought to quell concerns the dictates of his religion would influence his decision making, Kennedy articulated a view of complete separation of church and state.

"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him," said Kennedy then.

Among other destinations, Santorum's recent travel has taken him to Iowa and New Hampshire – the two states that kick off the presidential nominating process.


Filed under: Rick Santorum
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Rush Goebbels

    Hes nothing but a bagboy for the Koch Industries,boycott them now.

    September 1, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. katiec

    CNN, where is your headline that illegal immigration is down 67%??
    That is ignored while we get a headline about an unknown loser.
    Wow, you are quite the news worthy station.

    September 1, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Coconutz

    Why on earth can't this loser shut up and just go far, far away. He might finally stop talking if the media would stop reporting every little thing he does as if it were news. It's NOT!!!

    September 1, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. doug miller

    Just another reason to be embarrassed by a fellow Penn State alum's behavior.

    September 1, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Corey, Maryland

    I dream of a day where there are no Christians, Muslims, or Jews in any branch of our government. The world would be a much better place!

    September 1, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. Papasan in AZ

    What the Fascists fear most of all is intelligence.
    Stay stupid America, they love you that way...

    September 1, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There needs to be some level of understanding where religious leaders recognize that they have limits of contributions to the legal and political debate. We can't have religious leaders telling us where to go all the time. They can give moral council, but there are too many different religions and eithical backgrounds to have one for the country to follow.

    September 1, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Patrick

    Santorum wants to dissolve the wall between church and state? It's nice that he comes out and says that in a public forum. Now I know who to fight against. How is it that we are gravitating closer and closer, not to fascism or communism, but to mob rule with each passing day and no one seems to care? In fact, the loudest, most obnoxious voices in America relish the thought. This is not the America I grew up in and not the America I want for my children.

    September 1, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. bill

    why is it everytime the repubs say something positive.the go to demacrat party for quotes.oh i forgot just say no is their platform.RICK SANTOUTM.YOU WOULD NOT MAKE A PIMPLE.ON KENNEDYS BEHIND.

    September 1, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. scott

    if john f kennedy was alive he would note vote for yo right wing as

    September 1, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Jack

    What a frothy mixture!

    September 1, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. larry

    Santorum couldn't challenge anything from Kennedy....this is a joke

    September 1, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Rob

    Santorum is a cockroach.

    September 1, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Ted

    Was Santorum even alive when the speech was made? Knowing what society was like then would be helpful, but not Santorum. This guy has the intellect of GW Bush – zero.

    September 1, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Bart in Omaha

    I'm confused about what his point will be – that there should not be a separation between church and state? If conservatives do not want such a wall, why all the concern as to Obama's religion?

    September 1, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. Seriously?!

    LMAO!! Oh My GOD!! He's gonna "challenge" a speech made by a man whose been dead for 40+ years?!?!?!
    The funny part in this is no matter how many "challenges" this idiot takes, he will lose to the dead man EVERY time. JFK was right then and is still right now. You can kiss that house goodbye after "challenging" the words of a President that has garnered overwhelming respect from the American people,

    September 1, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. scribe

    Funny how these people who claim to be "Constitutionalists" have absolutely no understanding of the Constitution.

    @Jeff Brown- Couldn't have said it better myself.

    September 1, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. Refudiation

    What would these right wing whack jobs do if they actually had to work for a living?

    September 1, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. harvey 60

    Santorum, Beck and like-minded "religious" conservatives seek to bring back the good old days of Tricky Dick's Moral Majority. The problem is that they were, and are, neither moral nor a majority. They want to impose their views on a majority of Americans, and by doing so negate one of the basic tenets of the Constitution which they famously flaunt in our faces when it pertains, so they believe, to gun rights and their anti-abortion messages. But, like the 14th Amendment, given the control of Congress they so desperately seek again, they will attempt by any means possible to amend the Constitution. They now have so-called non-profit charter schools which they want to give federal funding under the guise of improved education. They denounce Muslims, many of them American citizens like themselves. They decry immigration, even though that's what built this country. People like Santorum, Gingrich et al want to bring back Jim Crow and turn him into an all-encompassing Crow: Ahmed Crow, Felipe Crow, Wan Crow, and any other non-white, non-pure American that thinks like they do. First they have a President appointed by the Supreme Court because the justices refused to count all the votes. Then that same President, with Santorum licking his shoes, enters a war that has now cost America almost $800 billion. Then they overspend so much that they drive the economy almost into a Depression, after the previous Administration left a sizable surplus in the Treasury. Then they have the boldness to state that the Democrats are overspending. Just like Rick Perry and his Texas hooligans refuse to acknowledge that they executed an innocent citizen, just like they are attempting to revise history with their new textbooks, just like Santorum is attempting to negate JFK and bring religion back to our front lawns, just like Beck speaks about faith where King spoke about brothers and sisters. Rick, next time you talk personally to God, you let me know. There's a reason no one ever saw him, or her, or it. It isn't there, it's just a matter of "faith" which ancients used to prevent fear and going stark-raving mad. It isn't there, never was, never will be, and certainly doesn't belong in any way, shape, or form in a conversation about politics. There's no separation of powers in the Constitution when it comes to religion. It doesn't belong in the conversation.

    September 1, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Scout

    Jeff Brown–you are 100% right. I wonder if Rick's speech will include another reference to homosexuals being similar to those who practice beastiality?

    September 1, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    The "Holy-of-Holies" will have to come down from the Cross to give his speech. Now that I have to see.

    September 1, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Lori

    OMIGOD!!!! What is with these right wing ideologs? I'm a Christian but I STRONGLY support separation of church and state. If people know anything about our history (and apparently most never learned it or have forgotten it), this separation was paramount to the founding fathers. All were God-fearing, Christian men, but they believed strongly in their right to worship as they saw fit. Many of them left England to get away from a 'state-run' religion. Learn your history, people!!! Protect the right of religion but do not institutionalize it!

    September 1, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. JohninTampa

    Santorum can tuck his religion back where he pulled it out of.

    September 1, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. LovesIrony

    Hey Rick,
    . The USA does not want you. What type of an idiot loses his senatorial reelection bid by 18% and thinks he could be elected president.

    Knock Knock Puddinghead

    oh and do a search of santorum

    September 1, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. water bearer

    Totally agree with you, Jeff Brown! I would go one step further even and say that "this pipsqueak" doesn't deserve to even have his name said in the same sentence as President John Kennedy!

    September 1, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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