February 21st, 2012
09:07 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum: 'I believe in good and evil'

Phoenix (CNN) - Rick Santorum offered no apologies Tuesday for a controversial speech he gave in 2008 when he talked about the threat of Satan in America.

“I’m a person of faith. I believe in good and evil,” Santorum said in response to questions from CNN.

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Instead the rising GOP contender defended his four-year-old remarks, made at Ave Maria University in Florida, where he said Satan was “attacking the great institutions of America.”

“If somehow or another because you’re a person of faith and you believe in good and evil is a disqualifier for president, we’re going to have a very small pool of candidates who can run for president,” Santorum said.

Excerpts of Santorum’s speech were splashed across the conservative leaning Drudge Report for much of Tuesday.

Santorum dismissed the Drudge article as “absurd.”

"If they want to go ahead and dig up old speeches to a religious group they can go right ahead and do so. I'm going to stay on message. I'm going to talk about the things Americans want to talk about," Santorum said to CNN.

When pressed further if he believed Satan was attacking America, as he said in his 2008 speech, Santorum insisted the subject is not on the minds of voters.

“Guys these are questions that are not relevant to what’s being discussed in America today,” Santorum said.

“What we’re talking about in America today is trying to get America growing. That’s what my speeches are about. That’s we’re going to talk about in this campaign,” he added.

With Santorum now leading several national polls and moving within striking distance of two game-changing victories in next week’s Arizona and Michigan primaries, the rising GOP contender has seen his recent speeches subjected to increased scrutiny.

In a speech to a small crowd of supporters in Phoenix Tuesday evening, Santorum said he can handle the pressure.

“I’ll defend everything I say,” Santorum said.

After the speech, Santorum told reporters he’s pleased with the state of his campaign, disclosing that he’s raised more than $6 million this month.

Belief Blog: Santorum and Satan – the devil is in the details

He also commented on the latest Washington parlor game: whether the race for the GOP nomination could result in a contested convention in Tampa later this year.

“I feel very good about our chances of winning this election. Feel really good,” Santorum said.

When asked about the possibility that no Republican candidate will have enough delegates to clinch the nomination, Santorum said such talk is premature.

“Obviously if nobody gets enough delegates we’ll have to deal with that. But it’s a long, long, long way to go and we feel really good about where we are headed right now,” Santorum said.

During his evening speech, the former Pennsylvania senator sounded confident about his chances in next Tuesday’s Arizona primary.

“We’re not just here to debate. We’re here to win Arizona next Tuesday,” Santorum said in reference to Wednesday’s CNN Debate.

Also see:

Paul ad slams Santorum

Obama campaign takes a swing at Santorum

Gingrich describes Obama as a national security risk

Franklin Graham questions Obama, Romney on Christian Faith


Filed under: 2012 • Arizona • Rick Santorum
soundoff (720 Responses)
  1. lawn maintenance bloomington indiana

    Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they just don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    February 22, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  2. Jon

    *sigh* And once again, Santorum shows how he's a throwback straight to the days of the Bush administration. Don't we have enough problems without involving ourselves in a cosmic war between good and evil?

    February 22, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. Laura518

    He is disgusting, and I don't use that word very often. In talking about the pre-natal testing, that is a requirement of Obama's health care plan, he said it can lead to more abortions. Well, it's fair to talk about the health care plan. It's fair to talk about free pre-natal testing, but to say that the administration is doing this to "cull the disabled from the population" is a horrible thing to say. You just accused President Obama of requiring health insurance companies to offer pre-natal testing and turning that into his philosophy of wanted remove disabled people from society. You disgust me.

    February 22, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. Shamrock

    Good for Rick Santorum for not backing down to these insulting liberal secularists! Does anyone care that these commnents were taken from a speech given to Catholic students at a Catholic University, totally in context of the setting. This was not a speech given or intended for general public audiences. For those who want to take it out of its setting in order to try to smear still another Republican primary candidate shame on you. Good thing none of them are Muslims...but of course the liberal press would not DARE use smear tactics with that religion....they would be among the missing!

    February 22, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    You said it Terry!

    February 22, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. Topsy Turvey

    Obama stripped away our liberty enacting "universal health care." He has increased the deficit more than any other president combined. The cost of living for all Americans has increased directly because Obama's policies. The children and grandchildren of this nation will end up paying for spending this generation has pissed away. And in the face of all of this destruction to our country, we jump up and down and call Rick Santorum a "nut" for speaking religiously in front of a religious audience in a religious setting. Somehow, I think the priorities of most liberals are completely backwards, and it shows with the state our nation today.

    February 22, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  7. Jamika Delmoro

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I'm looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks

    February 22, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. oneSTARman

    RICK SANTORUM is RIGHT – The Ideals that this Country was Founded on – and the Country Itself is UNDER ATTACK by SATAN. One has Only to Remember the Vitriol of Tea Party Rallies, Abu Grahib, GITMO, or watch the GOP Debates to KNOW that SATAN is Right Here in Front of Our Eyes.

    February 22, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  9. kateslate

    Hey, what happened to all the constitutional scholars? Article VI -3. Where is the t partay?

    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

    February 22, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  10. kateslate

    Really, Topsy Turvey? Really. So your George W. Bush's wars had absolutely nothing to do with our debt or deficit?
    Go directely to your local library and read all about it. Get off your right wing drip-line and get some real information.

    February 22, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. Brittany

    Question for all candidates:
    I am eighteen years old, and as I am looking into the future I see that it will not be possible for me to buy a house until I am in my thirties. What can you do to change that possibility?

    February 22, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  12. MaryM

    Satantorum will never be President of the U.S.

    February 22, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. OrangeW3dge

    The Exorcist Senator

    February 22, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  14. Dolores Lois

    Unbelievable!!! Inexcusable!!! Please inform these Republican Presidential candidates that Osama bin Laden was killed thanks to President Obama saying go for it. Courageous, resolute, consistent and cheerful that's President Obama. These clowns are so intent on becoming President that their lies are a means to that end.

    February 22, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  15. Dolores Lois

    I do believe in prayer. Heaven help us if any of these clowns become President!

    February 22, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  16. Jesus

    Rick,
    Please leave me out of your crazy ideas.
    Go back home and re-read the bible, you got it all wrong.

    Thank you

    Jesus.

    February 22, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    As an atheist, it matters to me if the President of the US really thinks that Satan is attacking our country.

    February 22, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  18. Dylan Korta

    i hate to be the fearmonger, and i'll probably be criticized for this, but i can't help but feel that, with a president santorum at the helm, we would live in a catholic theocracy. conservatives cry and whine about a "war on religion," but they wage war on any religion that isn't their own. I'm all for freedom of religion, but that does not give you the right to shove your beliefs down everyone else's throat. radical conservatives like santorum would be wise to remember that the first amendment, which unfortunately allows them to spew their shockingly theocratical rhetoric, also strictly prohibits any mixture between religion and the state. the moment we we forget that, our freedom will die.

    February 22, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  19. Lenny Pincus

    Evidently, speaking religiously about religious matters to a religious audience is an excuse to talk nuts.

    February 22, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  20. AVGPAGUY

    Do you believe in the Catholic church? Rick Santorum wants Catholics to get in line in support behind him, but he does not want to alienate Protestants who might be joining his camp, by loudly and widely profess his faith by "one act of courage". That is in fact, what he said best described him. Do you or do you not believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church, confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. C'mon Mr. Courage – wear your ashes. You can't have it both ways.

    February 23, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
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