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. Jose the Wrangler

    Santorum is another hypocrite politician, who says one thing and does another. He says "I'll defend what I say," and then dodges the question. He doesn't want to be called out on what he is, a religious fanatic from the 1500s, so he slips and slides covers up.

    February 22, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. Farsun

    Good vs. Evil has been the underlying story line for the entire history of human existence. although you see sways in the balance, in the long run good will always prevail over evil.

    February 22, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I am sure that the Carpenter from Galilee would not recognize any of his teachings coming out of what Santorum says.

    February 22, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Gunnar

    As a Conservative, even though I support Newt instead of Santorum, I have to agree that Matt Drudge has gone overboard in his slobbering love affair with Mitt Romney and his bashing of other Republican candidates. He's acting like a Romney tool.

    February 22, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Josh

    We don't need someone who believes in good and evil. Everything is relative and it is best to think as such. People believing in good and evil are the ones that will think Muslims are inherently evil and thus will never try to understand the complexities of the situation in the Muslim world. This leads to war and is a giant waste of money. Give me someone who takes time to look at things in a non-black and white manner. The world will never be black and white.

    February 22, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. Brandon

    People of Deep Faith have no bussiness in Politics If they cant Seperate Church and State..nuff said

    February 22, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. OldRightRep

    As much as I hate the idea of a second Obama term...the "Anyone but Obama" crowd can't have considered this zealot might the the alternative.

    Nothing like handing the worlds largest nuclear arsenal to a man who has a desire to speed the approach of armageddon.

    February 22, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. Brandon

    Im voting for Ron Paul Because im a veteran

    February 22, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. cam

    Drudge can't be blamed for anything. If you notice, all his articles are NOT written by him, but brought to his site from AP, CNN, other news outlets.

    February 22, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    The case can be made that the U.S. is undoubtedly evil. No matter how civil America is today, you couldn't say that 100+ years ago. Heck, you couldn't say that 40 years ago. Who are the evil people who enslaved the black man and called them 3/5ths of a man? What government is the only one in the world to use a nuclear weapon against it's enemy? What government is hellbent on having a "New World Order?" I'm an American through and through, but America has done some things that I'm not very proud of. I won't even get into Freemasons and their evil intentions.

    February 22, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  11. Christopher

    I for one DO want to know how close minded our Presidential hopefuls are. Tell me how much you believe in Fariy Tales that even the Vatican says are "just stories". It makes it easier NOT to vote for them!

    February 22, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Really?

    While I also believe in good and evil, A person this religious does not belong in the Oval Office. His beliefs would hinder him from making the best decisions for America.

    February 22, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. David Ouellette

    Santorum is a religious extremeist who colours everything with his strict, letter-of -the-law religious belief system.Santorum belongs in a sanitarium. Enough said.

    February 22, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. Marshall

    Anyone who is not afraid of Santorum must be truly fearless. Santorum is a demagogue and a Torquemada (the Grand Inquisitor) in waiting. You will find out what loss of liberty means if he is elected president.

    February 22, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Scott

    "I'm going to stay on message. I'm going to talk about the things Americans want to talk about"

    HA! You mean the social issues that have caused your surge in the polls that Americans don't really care about at all right now given the state of the economy???

    February 22, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. jeb

    Will Taliban-Rick trade his sweater vest for a political-suicide vest at the next debate?

    February 22, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. Annie, Atlanta

    "Crusader Rick" wants his religion in your government. People like this should be instantly disqualified for not knowing anything about America and our foundation. We really need some standards for running for president other than being 35 years old and American born. This guy is an insult to everything we're supposed to stand for.

    February 22, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. NoKidding

    Most of us believe in good and evil. I'd like to know how Santorum feels if we tell him that he IS evil?

    February 22, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Biggge

    Is he running for President or Pastor...

    February 22, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. ivnprt

    I get it ! Rick Santorum is going to lead the 13th crusade only this time it will take place in the USA

    February 22, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. al in memphis

    I'm not likely to vote for him, but the mindset of mankind has drifted so far from reality that people call what is truth to be absurb. The man is right. There is good and evil and Satans job is to kill, steal, and destroy as much of the spiritual/moral fiber of men/women until there soul is eternally damned.and in hell. All of what we think about science, technology, and the might of man will not change that.

    February 22, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. Lenny Pincus

    Yeah, and the last time we had a president who has such a childish view of the world, we invaded Iraq and killed 100,000 civilians. And we let the money changers rape our country. And we tried to talk a brain dead woman back to life. Sorry, we don't need another immature religious fanatic to ruin things.

    February 22, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    Let me guess the matra from truth and others today: Matt Drudge is part of the MSM. Stay tuned....

    February 22, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Andrew

    "That’s we’re going to talk about in this campaign..." Really? How much do CNN writers get paid? Editors? Hey, hire me...I'll actually proofread my stories before posting them.

    February 22, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. Scott

    Drudge doesn't write articles idiots.

    February 22, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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