February 21st, 2012
09:07 PM ET
2 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. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    I don't believe in your faith, Santorum. When I hear someone like you speak, I know whereof you speak and it is never without devious purpose. Your religion's attacks on other belief systems is tantamount to an Inquisition. Your attacks on anyone who isn't a male within your religion is shameful. What's the difference between you and Falwell and Westboro?

    February 22, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. rs

    Funny, I am a pretty forgiving guy, but I believe in good and evil too. Each of us carries a bit of both, and we have to emphasize the best to bring out and use that good. I feel though, there are a very few inately evil people in the world, and you Mr. Santorum are one of them.

    February 22, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. Vince

    Instead of believing the hype, why not look at Santorum's voting record. That shows more than anything else how the man really thinks and what he really believes. He is a conservative. Romney TALKS like a conservative, but his record is not even close to Santorum when it comes to upholding conservative values in government.

    February 22, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. Josef Bleaux

    This guy has come out agains contraception, a woman's right to choose, gays and lesbians and other "heathens". He doesn't think women should work but stay home and be good little houswives. How anyone with three working brain cells could vote for this nitwit is beyond me. Of course he believes in Satin. He IS Satin.

    February 22, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. Andrew

    That would work if he was actually talking about things that mattered to this country, and not the constant religious BS he is running on. Anyone heard a single idea this man has? No? Probably because in his own words, he isnt a manager or a visionary. That's what we want in a president. A religious nut with no skills to lead and no ideas..... Good pickens in the GOP!

    February 22, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. Dennis in WV

    Drudge is in the tank for Romney. Shame.

    February 22, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. mommytwice

    Well, why is it on the minds of voters when he wants to discuss who's Christian enough and whether contraceptives are counter to "HIS" faith, etc. He seems to feel that religion is on voters' minds when he wants to talk about it.

    February 22, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. Sensible Joe

    Mr. Santorum needs to look in his own heart, for that is where Jesus said evil thoughts come (Matthew 15:19), instead of blaming everything on Satan.

    February 22, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. mike

    Santorum:
    Is not remotely a conservative or a defender of freedom. He is a big government, "Show-me-the-money" LOBBYIST. Period. End of story.
    ★Defense and Foreign Policy
    Voted for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
    Voted against requiring the President to certify that the CWC is effectively verifiable.
    Voted against requiring the President to certify that that Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, North Korea, China, and all other countries determined to be state sponsors of terror have joined CWC prior to submitting the instrument of ratification.
    Voted for the START II Treaty
    Voted to allow the sale of supercomputers to China.

    February 22, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. mike

    Santorum and Labor
    Voted AGAINST the National Right to Work Act

    Voted twice in support of Fedex Unionization
    Voted for minimum wage increases six times here here here here here and here
    Voted to require a union representative on an IRS oversight board.

    Voted to exempt IRS union representative from criminal ethics laws.

    February 22, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. American Sharecropper

    Exactly what was "absurd" about the Drudge report? It was merely a link to a Santorum speech. There was no commentary, just a link. Was the link out of context? Was the link biased?

    Mr. Santorum is a statist of the first order, functionally no different than the current Statist in Chief. If he's the nominee, then God help us all - I'll still be voting for Dr. Paul.

    February 22, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. MJ Taylor

    Surprise, surprise, more magical thinking from Rick. We need an adult leader who is able to see beyond 1st grade logic and the unsophisticated dichotomy of "good" and "evil". These concepts are relative to one's position and an inability to recognize that not only shows limited intellect and perspective taking, but also someone who is no where close to being a viable candidate to lead in the 21st century.

    February 22, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. mike

    On Guns Santorum
    Voted to require pawn shops to do background checks on people who pawn a gun.
    Voted twice to make it illegal to sell a gun without a secure storage or safety device
    Voted for a Federal ban on possession of “assault weapons” by those under 18.
    Voted for Federal funding for anti-gun education programs in schools.
    Voted for anti-gun juvenile justice bill.
    ★Reform
    Voted for funding for the legal services corporation.
    Voted twice for a Congressional payraise.
    Voted to impose a uniform Federal mandate on states to force them to allow convicted rapits, arsonists, drug kingpins, and all other ex-convicts to vote in Federal elections.
    Voted for the Specter “backup plan” to allow campaign finance reform

    February 22, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. bg

    I say when the media starts to dig up anything about the canidate for the other party, then all is fair. But that will never happen, so just ignore them.

    February 22, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. teena

    So NOW he is trying to focus on what Americans are concerned about–jobs, jobs, jobs? So wher (whom) has he been focusing for the last few months, God, God, God!
    Not to say any Christian should not focus on God, but religion is ALL he has been talking about, NOT the economy!

    February 22, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. Willie James

    Santorum has snakes in his head. He is totally off the grid and very frightening. He represents a return to medieval times where superstition and fear drive the masses.....the Republicans need to shed themselves of this wingnut.

    February 22, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. FanDaElis

    Interesting that when people state the truth, which is contrary to secular non-believing individuals they want to call those who speak the truth, radicals, when, in truth, radicals are those who deny God and the Truths revealed in His Word. I would not necessarily speak the same way Santorum did, what I do know however is that the Devil's primary targets are true disciples of Jesus Christ. The USA has been the country where truth has had some free course, though, the secular people, who truly are under the thumb of the Devil, continue to gain ground in the USA and they do every thing so that we can not talk about God and truth without being called extremes. However, God is all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere present and he is the ultimate winner. No matter how things look on the surface, those who stand with Him will win. Those who oppose him (which means they are in alignment with the Devil) will lose.

    February 22, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. Caste

    As a liberal leaning person, I'm glad that he's taking the lead as I don't think he has a chance to win the general election. However, as an American, I'm afraid that he might win and what may come of that. I don't dislike him as a person, but his campaign has been run on a very dangerous concept and that is "My religion is the right religion and everyone else should fall in line".

    Please God, don't allow this man to be the face of your flock. We were meant for so much more and many peopole have been lead astray by these so called "leaders" who use you for their own selfish agendas.

    February 22, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. BigBrother

    I sure hope he doesn't become president. We can't let a 3000 year old book tell us what directions to take in this modern world.

    February 22, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. koregon

    Sad to see Drudge go the way of all the other 'bought out' so-called news organizations. Anyone know where I can find a reliable news site. I'm done with Drudge.

    February 22, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. SC

    I'm not a Republican and he will never get my vote but hearing all that drivel from the guy made me cringe.

    February 22, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. Cindy

    If their is any evil in America, it is Rick Santorum and the people he stands for. He is out to take away individual freedoms in this country.

    February 22, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. DaveC

    Wow Rick, it just keeps getting better and better. Nothing like going crazy early and often. I really didn't think that anyone could make Michelle Bachmann look sane but you have done it. God must be shaking his head right now.

    The moderate republican voter must be asking themselves just how the heck their party got into this situation. How exactly is the crazy talk Rick is spouting different from the Taliban or any other religious extremist throughout the world? This guy should scare the crap out of anyone with a brain. What really should scare anyone with a brain is that he has supporters. Those people should be photographed and singled out and shipped to Iran or Afghanistan or some other country that religion rules over politics.

    February 22, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. Jon

    How are those questions not relevant!? If this man truly believes that a mythological creature exists and is actively targeting the united states from his magical other worldly realm, then we need to ask some serious questions about his mental state, immediately.

    February 22, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. tim

    I wouldn't trust the Great Santorini's interpretation of a Jughead comic book, much less the Bible or the Constitution.

    February 22, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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