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. Andrew

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

    Then how about talking about the ECONOMY. This election, for independents, conservatives and liberals, will be about the economy and only the economy. This is not a social issues election. Santorum (google him) has little little to no experience with economic issues. Another four years of Obama will not fair well for the American economy.

    February 21, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  2. Dave

    I am a voter, I want him to explain whether or not he believes that or if he was just pandering to the audience he was speaking to.

    February 21, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  3. Thug

    May God save us from this man

    February 21, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  4. WatchinATrainWreck

    This was first pulled up by Drudge. It seems that Matt is all about Mitt. Wondering if Drudge is willing to pull up the religious dogma that Romney and the LDS (Morom) believe.==== Such as:God the father used to be a man on another planet, that he became a God by following the laws and ordinances of that God on that planet and came to this world with his wife (she became a goddess), and that they produce a spirit offspring in heaven. These spirit offspring, which includes Jesus, the devil, and you and me, are all brothers and sisters born in the preexistence. The preexistence spirits come down and inhabit babies at the time of birth and their memories of the preexistence are lost at the time. Furthermore, faithful Mormons, who pay a full 10% tithe of their income to the Mormon church through Mormon temples, have the potential of becoming gods of their own planets and are then able to start the procedure over again.- A wife is called out of the grave by her husband ONLY if she has pleased him here on earth. If she is called out, then she remains eternally pregnant, birthing "spirit babies" over adopted planets. === This is but a taste of their beliefs. ===

    February 21, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  5. Larry L

    He believes the Earth is less than 6000 years old. He thinks the science associated with global warming is flawed yet uses estimates in geology and climatology dating hundreds of thousands of years to make his point. How does thsat work?

    He believes the government has the right to force women to get a vaginal probe inserted for no medical reason – but rather as a means to intimidate them into having an unwanted child from a rape. He thinks contraception is evil. He continually queations the President's faith – for political gain only. Yes he understand evil and practices it quite often.

    February 21, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  6. DocNY

    I'm sorry I already thought you had a little to much religious fanaticism for me now I know you're a full blown zealot. Before I didn't want you for president now I fear what would happen if you were president.

    Is there a Doctor in the House......Ron Paul 2012

    February 21, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  7. ticky tacky

    republicans have been publicly defiled in every conceivable way by hundreds of scumbag liberals and main stream media publicists over the past three years....now, santorum and the other 2012 republicans open up with gutsy, no-holds-barred truths and are unafraic to slam the liberals with them.

    it's no surprise that liberals go into their familiar faux hurt and shock mode.....but it's fellow republicans' response that are as bad.....for example. rush fears slams from liberals, o'reilly cautions that santorum be careful and be on alert to defent themselves.

    have conservative talking heads forgotten that finally joe and joanne six pack can hear the truth instead of just another canned speech ??????.....it's good, it's hopeful,,,it's even a lifeline that tells hardworking americans there is truth and hope in america. ...that politicians can speak from the gut.

    rush and oreilly and others who claim to speak for conservatives seem to have locked themselves into their studios far too long.

    it's about time...this election will not be our grandfathers election where repubs feed the need to be noble in the face lies of satanic proportion.

    February 21, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  8. RT

    "I'm going to stay on message. I'm going to talk about the things Americans want to talk about," Santorum said to CNN. Except he's talking about Barack's supposed lack of faith and killing public education and how women's healthcare leads to abortions. Things that only the tiniest minority of religious zealots are interested in. If Mr. Santorum is looking to be the Pope, may I suggest that he's living in the wrong country for that. If he's running for President of the US, he needs to expand his dialogue with the vast majority of its citizens, who don't give a flying flip about his views on Satan but do care about his plans to grow jobs.

    February 21, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  9. Sheepleherder

    I'd like to talk about why some find it necessary to drag their religion into a discussion of morals. Don't you all think that a person can have good moral values without having to be a member of your religion?? Does everybody who doesn't look through in your narrow little window onto the world have to be evil? Can't you even imaging that God created people who might believe in being moral and of good character without needing the same crutch you need?

    February 21, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  10. Don

    I wont be voting for Santorum because he believes that Protestantism is a satanic in organization. That is pretty extreme, I don't know who can vote for him besides Catholics at this point.

    February 21, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  11. Satberry

    He will never pass a psychological test.He is not stable you just wait and see.I am not worried,he is in self destruct mode.

    February 21, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Santorum: 'I believe in good and evil'◄
    Whew, OMG what else is there – a wicked boll weevil???
    It's true there is EVIL but shouldn’t you ONLY “believe” in GOOD
    Dang, this man wants to be President and his followers think he should??

    SATANorum is scary, dangerous and out of touch
    His rhetoric is way out there and a bit too much
    His ANGER is so REAL but yet his approval ratings are off the chart
    His followers still applaud him; they hold him dear to their heart

    I am shaking in my boots!!!

    Obama 2012 – Come on now!!!

    February 21, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  13. MBlaster

    That's because Drudge is in the tank for Romney. A shame when people bringing the "news" to the public are slanted. But their coverage would never take a slant, now would it?

    February 21, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  14. william work

    The one great thing about the political proces happening in the republican primaries is that alot of so called conservatives are exposing themselves for whom they really are.Matt Drudge,Shepperd Smith,Carl Rove,Donald Trump,John Boener,Criss Cristy,Ann Coulter,Bill O reilly,and other members of the Fox family especialy the weekend mourning group,and last but not least Gov Huckabee.

    Is it time for we true conservatives to start a conservative party?

    February 21, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  15. Reggie from LA

    American-Satan, eh? Oh he's attacking alright. Mr Santorum just fails to illustrate how. Apparently, by his thinking Satan is external to him. A Satan attacking "them" not him. Not using him or political figures and plutocrats like him. Satan is working on "others". Apparently his faith makes him immune and able to point out where the damage is being done in America. Did he mention some of the pulpits and bully pulpits? I suppose his presidency would drive Satan out...well it seems that's what is implied? Did I miss something?

    February 21, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  16. WeThePeopleUSA

    I am beginning to second guess my affinity for the Drudge Report. I check it several times a day for breaking news. I have begun to become quite annoyed with Drudge's bias in favor of Mitt Romney. It is so very obvious that he is taking sides and that is too bad. It makes Drudge look like just a tool of the Establishment. I always hoped that Drudge would stay away from choosing during the election season.
    Rick Santorum has gained favor because he is believeable. He is a man of faith and integrity. He stands up for what he believes. He is more like "one of us" than the other candidates. He talks to us and not above or past with robotic repetition. Why is Romney not moving beyond his 30% after all these months? Simple. He never gives us more than, "I have a plan" and "I know business" and "I want to be America's CEO". Well, what is your plan, specifically, Mitt? How will you grow the economy? How will you repeal ALL of Obamneycare? You just keep talking without saying anything new. If you have a plan, spell it out already.
    So, to Drudge, Coulter and the other web sites and talking heads...let the process work itself out. Stop endorsing candidates whether transparently or via your biased story telling and selection. Just report while letting the People decide.

    February 21, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  17. WeThePeopleUSA

    Can you blame Santorum for slapping Drudge? What an idiotic story and caption. Drudge is such a shill for Romney its embarrassing. Hey Drudge, just report and let the people choose the nominee.

    February 21, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  18. John Langford

    How more stupid can you be ? How can you believe in Satan, or Christ, or God. Let's be REAL...

    February 21, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  19. larry

    Rick wants to talk about problems concerning Americans.Really because for the last 2 weeks all I hear is religious trash.Got a problem with the way your road got paved thats obviously a moral issue.Trashman dropping your trash on the ground well,thats a family value problem.I wish he would fly to Rome and crawl in bed with the Pope.Hell,even the Pope probably thinks he's a bona fide nut My pastor alway said Zeal without knowledge is dangerous.He has insane zeal and only enough knowledge to be way more of a problem than just dangerous

    February 21, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  20. Kathleen

    It never fails – the one who bangs the bible loudest is the one to most distrust. There is nothing more repugnant than a person who hides behind the mantle of God/religion in order to achieve their sinister goals.

    This guy is a political careerist and a ruthless political operative. Anyone who knew him when he was a Senator in PA would most likely confirm this is not a man who is equipped to lead the most powerful country in the world.

    February 21, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  21. Frankie

    Santorum stick to the issues. If you want to be a disciple of God then follow Luke 14:33. If you cannot give away everything you own you cannot be a disciple. Christ said that.

    February 21, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  22. Jon

    The guy says he believes in good and evil, and that Satan wants to take America down.. Which is no less believable and much more true than "using the wrong kind of toilet paper kills polar bears".

    And CNN makes this into a headline?

    How about "President Obama and Eric holder get busted supplying Mexican narco terrorists with military grade weaponry"? No? That's not important, but the fact that Rick Santorum believes in "good and evil" is? I find it more noteworthy that no one at CNN apparently believes in good or evil, much less journalism.

    February 21, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  23. SafeJourney

    I sure you do. because you will never be president of the U.S. And you can thank your God

    February 21, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  24. Frankly

    Rick Santorum is an honest guy who says what he believes, and it makes sense. His remarks on this topic were taken out of context and it doesn't deserve any further comment. However, I'm sure media folks will try to keep the pot brewing. Enough. Stick to the current issues and let's get on with it.

    February 21, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  25. Heath

    Santorum is right about one thing: the subject is not on the minds of voters. But then, there are is a litany of topics that are not on the minds of voters that most assuredly should be, this being one of them. You all remember the last Neo-Con who supposedly prayed about what his decisions concerning the fate of our nation should be...yes, that turned out just lovely. Apparently, the goal of that god (lowercase intended) was to sow more strife among "his children". Ugh. These small-minded religious buffoons have held sway over too much of American politics for too long, and I for one am beyond sick of them.

    February 21, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
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