February 19th, 2012
07:27 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum clarifies 'theology' remark

(CNN) – Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum on Sunday denied he was questioning President Barack Obama's religious values the previous day when he said the president had a "different theology."

"I wasn't suggesting the president's not a Christian," Santorum said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "I accept the fact that the president is a Christian."

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He added he was referring to what he called the president's "radical environmentalism" when it came to mining for resources in the United States.

"I just said that when you have a world view that elevates the Earth above man and says that we can't take those resources, because we're going to harm the Earth by things that frankly are just not scientifically proven," he said. "The politicization of the whole global warming debate, I mean, this is just all an attempt to centralize power and to give more power to the government."

He later added: "I am talking about his world view or his - the way he approaches problems in this country. And I think they're different than how most people do in America."

At a tea party event on Saturday in Ohio, Santorum suggested Obama leads based on a "theology" different from that in the Bible, leaving some wondering whether he was implying that Obama subscribes to a religion other than Christianity.

Speaking to reporters later in the day, he was asked about the comment and attempted to explain his remarks.

"You may want to call it a theology, you may want to call it secular values," he said. "Whatever you want to call it. . . it is a different set of moral values that they are imposing on people who have a constitutional right to have their own values within the church."

The president's re-election campaign has since pounced on his comments. Top campaign adviser and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Sunday told reporters in Washington that Santorum's remarks "don't belong in our politics."

"I don't think that's what the American people want from either of the potential Republican nominees," Gibbs said.

– CNN's Chris Welch, Gregory Wallace and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Also see:

Gay sheriff resigns Romney role after allegations

Bachmann: GOP is extremely 'pro-women'

Paul: Santorum has an 'atrocious voting record'


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Rick Santorum
soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. GRAHAME RHODES

    Thanks for the joke Rick.Oh Sorry the joke is You. OK But thank you anyway for reminding me why I prefer to live in Canada. The politicians up here may be as dull as ditch-water up here but we're doing OK without religious nutcases like you. Please stay away.

    February 20, 2012 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  2. MoreChoices

    But the thing is, Santorum is not a potential Republican nominee. The guy has no chance of ever getting the Republican nomination. It's just not going to happen. Many in the media play it up like he has a chance to win the nomination, and other folks then buy into it as a possibility. It's not gonna happen unless Romney drops out of the race.

    February 20, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  3. FrankBlourtango

    Nice try but you screwed that one up. Theology has nothing to do with radical environmentalism. Maybe you should keep your mouth shut. Just what we need for president, some guy with mouth in gear while the brain is in nuetral.

    February 20, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  4. Paperwork

    Perhaps he needs to read Revelation 11:18..."your wrath has come. The time for judging the dead...and for destroying those who destroy the earth."

    February 20, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  5. Paperwork

    So maybe he's more religious than Santorum realizes?

    February 20, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  6. Mark Taylor

    Mr Santorum "accepts" Mr Obama as a Christian. That is a most unfortunate choice of words. More appropriate would be something like "Mr Obama is my brother in Christ". This guy sounds more and more like the Pharisees who got the Romans to nail Jesus up on that cross.

    February 20, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  7. Doug

    And Santorum isn't imposing his values on anyone? Come on!

    February 20, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  8. angryersmell

    "I just said that when you have a world view that elevates the Earth above man and says that we can't take those resources, because we're going to harm the Earth by things that frankly are just not scientifically proven,"

    You apes are going to run this planet right into the ground and doom all your future generations because you're too stupid to think beyond your own antiquated beliefs and the urges in your pants...and I'm going to laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh...

    February 20, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  9. Robert Sechler

    Rick Santorum's religion has many "theologies" radically different from the Bible. The veneration of the Virgin Mary, her immaculate conception, her ascension into heaven, the veneration of saints... Nowhere in the Judeo-Christian scriptures do we find a basis for these add-ons. Senator Sanctimonious is living in a glass house and throwing big rocks indeed.

    February 20, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  10. TheFatherofLies

    I don't even think he believes his own rambling explanation.

    February 20, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  11. Dave - Phx

    This guy is a complete joke.

    February 20, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  12. robert

    Santorun's view that man is separate from the earth is the antiquated Catholic Thomistic view of dualism. Man(mind) is separate from body(earth). When man separates himself from earth, them man assumes the belief that he can use the earth anyway he pleases.When man "excepts"(Gingrich) himself from the earth,he then believes that he can "except" himself to use power to "except" himself from other people. He can then enslave and oppress those whom are
    described as different
    As the season of Lent is upon us, we need to remind ourselves that there is no separation of man from the earth; we are of the earth and to earth we shall return

    February 20, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  13. Bryan

    Spending a lot of time "clarifying" his stance on things these days huh? Slam the president for not enforcing his religious beliefs through new laws? I thought the Constitution called for a separation of church & state. So how are Tea Party Constitution first people supporting a man that clearly wants his faith to be law for all? Because no one is paying attention – just voting based on the flavor of the month. I believe we need real change to our fiscal prudency and a better managed business of America – I want a new leader who will right our economic woes – not a religious zealot that has not once campaigned with a plan for America – just religious garble. I am from PA – fired him oncealready for this same theocratic nonsense. I will not have him – I am a swing voter – one of millions that will determine this election. If it's Santorum, we will re-elect Obama.

    February 20, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  14. Dan

    I wouldn't vote for anyone who would use their religious beliefs to run this country,

    February 20, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  15. Jt_flyer

    Never in history have I seen women give away their rights like this. This religious fanatic is on a crusade. Do you really want 50year old men telling you what you can do with your body? NEVER.

    February 20, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  16. Marry

    "I am talking about his world view or his (President Obama) – the way he approaches problems in this country. And I think they're different than how most people do in America."
    Dear Ricky, you will find out soon enough how the majority of Americans feel! Disgusted by a jerk like you! Simply the bottom of the barrel! Watch “Face the Nation” – I know it is hard – but it is again an eye-opener of what we have here in front of us! Gosh, this guy is an insult to anyone’s intelligence and good character!

    February 20, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  17. Thomas

    Narrowing of the American mind.

    February 20, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  18. jnpa

    Nothing that Santorum says concerning his religious beliefs belongs in politics!

    February 20, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  19. OrangeW3dge

    You got some 'splainin to do, Little Ricky.
    Looks like you are painting yourself in to a corner here. And I do believe that Barack would swab the deck with your Sarah Palin style silliness.

    February 20, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  20. PhilG

    Rick, so I see prenatal testing is just an excuse for doctors to recommend abortions to women who may have children with chromosomal or other abnormalities. Keep it up. I love it. It may win you the nomination, but if you think the majority of Americans are with you on your anti-women, anti-choice, pro "theology" agenda, you are just plain nuts. Why do you think we in Pennsylvania drummed you out of office? You lost to Sen. Casey by 18%, remember?? I PRAY you win the nomination.

    February 20, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  21. EdSantaFe

    SPIN SPIN SPIN. The people of Pennsylvania dumped Santorum. That says it all.

    February 20, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  22. mb2010a

    Rick Santorum...sigh. RickyBob would be so much better off if he would just keep his mouth shut. He won't get the nomination, of course...but if he did, Obama would be elected by a huge landslide.

    February 20, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  23. vinnie

    oh boy...keep talking santorum, you sound more nuts with each 'position'

    February 20, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  24. durundal

    I really dont see how people can palate this looney. Its fine and dandy that you want to believe in the christian version of 'morality' but come on, there is no freakin way you can listen to this guy and not be a little freaked out by his rhetoric driven zealotry. A vote for this man is a vote to end cultural advancement, science, and to abandon reason. And yet, so many tools have done just that....onward christian soldiers.....be good lemmings

    February 20, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
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