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. JC in SC

    TruthMan. Are you upset that we are holding Santorum accountable for the crazy things he says . . . and asking about the mistakes he has made? Or is this whining about unfair treatment.

    February 22, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    The 1st Amendment was written to protect our The People and our government from people like Rick Santorum. Santorum is on tape from last fall clearly stating that he feels that Constitution is wrong on the issue of separation of church and state.

    February 22, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Olivia

    If you believe the Bible you believe in good and evil and you believe that Satan, the Father of Lies, exists and is always creating havoc anyway he can. Rick Santorum is not the man I will vote for in the upcoming primary in MI, I like Newt, but....thank you Rick for not offering apologies for the things you believe in and for having the courage of your convictions. Those who immediately buckle down and start apologizing for their statements of religious belief disgust me.

    February 22, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. mrsharfer

    You need only look at the White House to know Rick is correct. If you look at life through a prism of good and evil, it is easy to see the ones on the wrong side!

    February 22, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Get real

    @Lars – And we are to believe one man could ban birth control? Come on, this is not Mr. O.

    February 22, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. FactCheck

    If you don't believe what Santorum said, you are blind.
    --------

    If you believe what Santorum said, I have a slice of toast with the Virgin Mary's image on it that I would like to sell.

    February 22, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Jeff

    We should be talking about Romney's re-election campaign right now, and buck fifty gas, but instead, the Republicans are bound and determined to derail Romney again, for whatever reason, jeolosy, I would suspect. I'm making a friendly wager with myself that Santorum hauls off and knocks Romney out tonight. He's not only thin-skinned, he's mean thin-skinned. If Obama gets re-elected, he should make himself president for life, so we won't have to go through this farce again.

    February 22, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. FactCheck

    I'll just have to accept $5+ gasoline, 9% unemployment as the new normal,
    ---------

    Don't get out very often do you?

    February 22, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Get real

    @ the truth- seriously, Santorum is quite the opposite of Hitler. Our current leadership is more likely heading in that direction with the help of the media.

    February 22, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Alger Dave

    I actually love how this primary season is going. It's awesome to see social conservatives finally breaking ranks with the 'party brokers' who have obviously picked Romney. Not familiar with them? They're the Wall Street folks who give all the money (for the most part) and RINOs who could care less about social issues, as long as the rich get to get richer and they don't have to pay any more taxes. They love Romney because they know he'll do whatever they want him to. It's that simple. He's flip flopped so often, just to get what he wants, that the power brokers know he'll flop their way when necessary. That's all. Santorum isn't that kind of player. He actually knows poor people and grew up middle class. He stands up for the little guy, and doesn't care too much about Wall Street. He's like the RNC's worst nightmare – a candidate who cares more about people than money, more about integrity than polls. Actually he represents the future of the Republican party, if they are to have one – a true compassionate conservative. Oh, and someone forgot to tell the RNC – the economy is going to be strong enough in the fall of 2012 (as it's currently trending) that no one is going to care about Romney's 'CEO' image anymore – the issues are going to be more about other things, leaving Romney with no significant appeal anymore – it's already happening as I write this...

    February 22, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Santorum keeps getting portrayed as a liar, and getting called on "these things" because he keeps opening up his Chrishun mouth and talking about them. Period.
    If and when (don't hold your breath. Or go ahead and hold it) Obama jumps into the religious pandora's box that the Magic Underwear wearing Mormon, and the I'm-more-Catholic-than-the Pope eejit have been diving into I'm quite certain that the MSM will be all over that.
    This election is NOT about religion like Santorum, and the Moron Mormon are trying to make it. It is about the wealthy versus the middle class, and who will look after their interests. Don't get caught in the spin cycle.
    Obama 2012.

    February 22, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Jimmy

    Satan is everywhere! He is after american, the devil is doing his work! Ahhhhhh, what should I do? I guess vote for Santorum who will have a war with Satan and he will save the USA from the depths of hell!

    I can't believe how many ignoramouses in this country actually believe this stuff, we're surrounded by ignorant people who might as well be the christain taliban. Geez, where do these knumbskulls come from?

    February 22, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Ezekial

    Time to burn all the heretics at the stake. Who are the heretics? Non-Baptists, including Catholics.

    February 22, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Stephen

    Rick Santorum is complaining that the media is going back four years and digging up stuff he said before he ever ran for president. Well, Rick your whole campaign against Romney has been about things he said and did when he was governor of Massachusetts. What goes around comes around. Buck up and deal with it.

    February 22, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. Thinking7

    Santorum is awesome! He will make a good President.

    February 22, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. rickp530

    LOL I bet, he looks under his bed and checks his closet every night to make sure that the devil is not lurking about.

    February 22, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. H. D. Schmidt

    I am a staunch conservative Christian and a Republican but what I see and hear presently, is not honoring the Founding Fathers at all, and it is very clear to me that the only one candidate that meets the qualifications for Commander in Chief is none other than Ron Paul. Santorum, Gingrich and Romney are nothing but the most brutal Militaristic Imperialists while each one claims to be a Christian. "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none". By Thomas Jefferson. This quote is actually Ron Paul's platform. I dare to say that if he became our next Commander in Chief the gas prices would immediatly drop considerable! Folks. it is high time that America starts to obey the Founding Fathers if there is a desire to remain the nation that they give birth to, otherwise America will continue ever faster on the road to hell like all previous Empires. America's Militarism makes Satan smile from ear to ear, especially does he like to hear are the following words: God bless America, and in God we trust, and one nation under God.

    February 22, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Get real

    @Rudy NYC – where's the tape? Separation of church and state is largely misunderstood by people like you. It was intended to keep the government from imposing a state religion on the people. Santorum has NO plans for that, contrary to what his opponents would like you to believe. Now, as for religion and public policy; it doesn't take religion to know that abortion is the taking of innocent human life and plainly wrong. I knew that BEFORE I even thought about religion and I suppose most youngsters would realize that, also, until they are corrupted by humanist lies.

    February 22, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Wealthy Christian White Males Club

    I'm looking for a new congregation to join. Maybe one with lots of hatred, fear and bigotry. One that wants to control women's rights, deny equal love to gay people, and punish the poor for being poor.

    I bet Mr. Santorum and recommend a nice place to worship.

    February 22, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Sy2502

    This guy is the gift that keeps on giving. Every day he tries to top the absurdities he uttered the previous day.

    February 22, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Buddy

    The main thing I have against Santorum is that he is a mouth breather.

    February 22, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Lolo

    The republicans really need to be ashamed of themselves. They have no right to condem anyone's religion. Sounds like to me that their religious beliefs teach you only to hate. They need to investigate why the priest are abusing children, since they are so much into the catholic church, why their men just cheat on their women all of the time, why they are such big liars, why they treat women as second class citizens? They are really out there in LALA Land. Boy I can't wait until they meet the higher power, because they are going straight to hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 22, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Keith A. sillsbury

    They don't even have to tear into each other, their own statements keep coming back around and punching them in the face. hey ricky..you questioned President Obamas faith and regurgitated that one for a year after he was President so yeah, you do have to answer it. that question IS on the minds of Americans.As a matter of fact, I want to see your birth certificate! in person! I want to see if it's real or not. I don't believe you were born here in America.

    February 22, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. nycbiker

    Why wouldn't he believe in himself?

    February 22, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Truth and Nothing wrote:

    Did anybody ask Obama if he believes in good and evil? If he's a Christian as he proclaims, the answer would be yes. So he and Santorum would agree on this issue. But is the LSM making it an issue with Obama??? If not why not? Only one reason, to try and portray Santorum in a bad light and paint him as some religious zealot. The LSM media has to do this to get Obama re-elected in 2012 because he sure can't get re-elected on his record of failure.
    -------------------–
    Why should anyone need to ask Pres. Obama about good and evil? Pres. Obama is talking about the jobs, the economy, energy development, Iran, etc. That question is highly appropriate for Rick Santorum because that is what he's talking about then and now. "What did you mean by that remark, Senator Santorum?" Put a guy like that in the White House, and we might find ourselves the target of a pre-emptive military strike. Are you kidding, me? Huh!

    The rest of your rant about "LSM" is typical right wing conspiracy theory. These stories are being broken by right wing media, in case you didn't know. Specifically, The Drudge Report.

    February 22, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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