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. Craig

    This is change I could believe in.

    September 1, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. montag

    Who let 'man-on-dog' Rick out of the asylum?

    September 1, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Debbie

    And he lost re-elect because?

    A Kennedy your not and never will be!

    So what's next? Hey, become a preacher like what's his name!

    September 1, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. shoegazer

    Rick Santorum ??!!! You've got to be kidding.

    September 1, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. Brad the Inhaler

    Mr. Frothy Mix is at it again. Spread that Santorum!

    September 1, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. annie s

    I am so extremely tired of the conservative hypocrites continually jamming their so-called religion down my throat. Explain to me what God tells them it's okay for 44,000 Americans to die needlessly every year for lack of health insurance? What God tells them it's okay to discriminate against their fellow man? What God tells them that the unemployed are lazy and don't deserve our help? The mean spirited callous actions of the Republicans are anything BUT Christian.

    September 1, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Willa-PA

    Kennedy was a great president. Former senator Santorm, you are no Jack Kennedy.

    September 1, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Let's see. These nincompoop who is part of the I want my country back litany and I don't want big government in my backyard now wants to challenge President Kennedy's speech which pretty much echoes the Constitution as far as separation of church and state?
    Why? Has he even read the Constitution?
    Do there people think at all before they open their stupid pie hole and fall into the mud?
    Our founding fathers ("all of them") wanted separation. Nobody's god, I don't care what your religion, should dictate government.
    Another twit!!!

    September 1, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. AndyBlue

    Religious people are the true Nuts of America.

    They want to get rid of public schools and force your kids to prey to their christian god.

    Its disgusting in this day and age.

    These are the same people who blindly approve of sending 20 year olds to the front lines to fight the Muslim/christian war they have going on in their minds.

    Muslims, blacks, Mexicans, gays and anyone else who isn't white christian is their enemy as they scream for others to sign some "Purity" contract.

    The candidates they put forward; Palin, Angel, Rand Paul, etc. only further prove the lunacy and is a direct reflection overall mentality of people who vote for them.

    Like I said, Just disgusting in this day and age.

    September 1, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. AndyBlue

    And I agree with Jeff Brown in Jersey.

    "This pipsqueak couldn't shine John Kennedy's shoes!"

    September 1, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. MikeB59

    He will also tell the crowd to "Ask what your country can do for you, not what you can do for your country."

    September 1, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. chelle

    Seriously...is he just an idiot??? What fool takes on JFK?

    September 1, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. The Dude

    There's a reason why you lost your re-election, bid, sir, and they say the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result.

    September 1, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Lisa P

    "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."

    Yes, I can see where Rick Santorum would be against that. He hates the real America and our Constitution.

    September 1, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. lovable liberal

    Shorter Santorum: "How can we have a theocracy if the mullahs can't tell the President what to do?"

    September 1, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. J Farrow

    Separation between church and state is a key pillar of our constitution and the explicit will of our founding fathers. Right wing, religious zealots like Rick Santorum have no argument otherwise and should keep their opinions on the matter to themselves. Ours is an explicitly secular government.

    September 1, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    Apparently, they're having a sale on narcissistic delusions of grandeur at the local religio-fascist emporium. This should be an amusing hate ho-down to read about afterwards...especially listening to people who call themselves the protectors of the Constitution claim he's correct. It's a circus of misinformation and revisionist history, and this guy's driving the clown car. ALL ABOARD!!!

    September 1, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. mike

    Don't even go there if you can't have own speech Santorum then there is no reason for you to run for president this only tells me that you are just another uneducated fool that doesn't have what it takes to be a leader

    September 1, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. CaliforniaBC

    So NOW the Right is advocating a close relationship between church and state, but of course only if that church is a christian one. And for ALL their screaming about constitutionality, they are the ones striving to counter one of the hallmarks of the US Constitution, the separation of church and state.

    Without this separation we would be in the same state as those countries where religion is the rule of law. Can anyone say, Iran?

    September 1, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. sharon

    about the time I think they have pulled another one.....................
    they go and try something realy bad.................................................

    September 1, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. MR AMERICA

    JFK had it right 50 years ago...Santorum wants to dial back the clock to the 1950's? Good luck with that.

    Rick, you and the religious whack jobs can keep the 50's....the rest of us have moved on.

    September 1, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Brian

    The separation of church and state was of paramount importance to the Founding Fathers. After all, they were escaping massive religious persecution. America was founded as a place where people of any religion or no religion at all could coexist peacefully, and keeping each individual religion out of politics and lawmaking is essential to maintaining that peaceful coexistence. If there is not a single nonreligious reason for passing a law, then that law should not be passed. End of story.

    September 1, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. An American Patriot

    Why in hell is this guy addressing religion? Maybe he thinks he's running to be pope. He's definitely a born-again idiot!!!

    September 1, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. MR AMERICA

    Those of faith should realize how insulting this is.

    Those that don't obviously only care about themselves and their beliefs.

    Freedom of Religion As Long As It's The Right Religion.

    September 1, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. debbie thomason

    I totally agree, no name so and so.

    September 1, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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