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. J. Michael

    You can tell this is a CNN web site by the comments.

    February 22, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. Tiglath

    What's most amazing is that in our supposedly advanced society, "I'm a person of faith" is considered a virtue.
    It's like saying that one of a person's qualities is that he believes stuff for no reason at all, and that's a virtue.

    Who REALLY wants to put a person like that in charge of our military... again? Is recent history not clear enough?

    Forgot already those other believers - Bush and Blair - who believed Saddam had WMDs, for no good reason at all? And their "faith" cost many people their lives?

    Believe baloney at your risk, not your country's

    February 22, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. retiredcoach

    " The fool says in his heart-there is no God" Psalms. 14:1 Therefore, when anyone posting on here( and most do not) who denies the Bible and satan's influence-they do so because- they are rejecting the very Truth that judges them!

    February 22, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. insantorum

    I'll have to pass on Santorum, me being a protestant professor who has already been infiltrated by Satan.

    February 22, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Ken Andrews

    Rick: Isn't there a saying in the Bible starting with "Judge not..........." ?

    February 22, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Allie

    The position is President of the US. NOT Pastor of the US! Theocracy no. Democracy yes.

    February 22, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. atypical

    talking about the concept of "evil' is a waste of time–and dangerous. when we talk about evil, we diminish and demean people who become easy scapegoats. it is much easier to dehumanize people when we make them out to be "evil." It makes it easier to justify humanity's injustice to and crime upon humanity (e.g., slavery, cambodia, bosnia, holocaust, etc. . And having a smaller, more select pool of candidates that did not ascribe to the term "evil" would be a wonderful turn of events. Mr. Santorum, your ideas are ignorant and archaic, but they are not evil.

    February 22, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. twophad

    I'll help you with your definitions, Rick the Righteous San(c)t(imonious)orum: "Good" means "that which works to Santorum's advantage." "Evil" means "that which does not work to Santorum's advantage."

    February 22, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. swcoolbreeze

    Good to see Santorum channeling his inner Flip Wilson.

    February 22, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. Reine

    Santorum would never be able to win the general election.

    February 22, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. iceal

    One of Pres. Obama's favorite mentors is Saul Alinsky. Alinsky's most influential book is Rules For Radicals. Saul Alinsky dedicated this book to "the very first radical from all our legends,myths and history-the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment- LUCIFER." Has anyone in the media questioned Pres. Obama about this tribute to Lucifer by his favorite mentor,Saul Alinsky? Would anyone dare??

    February 22, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. happyjackrich

    God= superstition

    I hate to see them waste time talking about make believe characters

    February 22, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Redleg17

    What is amazing to me is the Liberals and media actually defending immorality thus defending Satan!!! Amazing. But not unexpected.

    February 22, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. Brian M

    Why is Sen Santorum getting so much grief over his Devil comments. If you are a Christian, you believe the bible is the inspired word of God. If you believe in Jesus, you have to believe in the devil. If it were not for the Devil introducing sin into this world, there would have been no need for redemption through Jesus Christ. Rick Santorum's beliefs are in line with Christian teachings, no matter what denomination you are a part of. It surprises me that Gov. Romney's beliefs have not come into question. The book of Mormon is based on extra biblical writings which do not line-up with teachings of the Christian faith. The book of Mormon, as stated By Joseph Smith, was given to him at night by an angel named Moroni, who revealed the location of a buried book of golden plates as well as other artifacts, including a breastplate and a set of silver spectacles with lenses composed of seer stones, which had been hidden in a hill near his home. No one ever saw these plates but him. The Bible is the most historically documented book in the world.

    February 22, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. Kimo

    Great. No more science or rational thought. I wonder which country God will tell him to invade.

    February 22, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Greg

    I am heartened to see that Santorum converted from pro-choice to pro-life when he decided to run for congress in the 1990's. Wish more would make the conversion, no matter the reason. It was interesting that I had to see recent news about his conversion from pro-choice. Santorum never talks about once being pro-choice. If he did, it might help others who have struggled with the issue.

    February 22, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. PTBarnumboy

    Fanaticism in the name of religion may not be evil but it sure ain't good.

    February 22, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Thomas

    Unfortunately, this clown will fit right in in my home state of Arizany. We've become the mecca for political loons drawn like moths to a flame by our legislative kookocracy and and our uneducated Governor. Let's not forget power abusers like Sheriff Joke and our newly outed Tea Party congressional candidate, Pinal County Sheriff Paul "let me show you my junk or I'll deport you" Babeu.

    February 22, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. RealWorld

    I'm fine with Rick talking about good and evil.

    But why is attacking Iran, who has no chance to attack us, good, and not evil.
    That's a HUGE moral double standard IMO.

    Plus, it will only result in more blowback. We've been dealing with blowback from mid east policy for 50 years. Can we just leave them alone for a while?

    February 22, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. sean

    @retiredcoach People noot believing in imaginary beings, that were fabricated by people who are too afraid to realize the fact that life is finite or to accept responosiblity that the choices they make are their own, is not foolish. It would actually be more accurately defined as sane. Unfortunately sanity, logic and reason are concepts that seem to be out of reach for the religious zealouts.

    February 22, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. mary

    Blaming Satan when things go wrong or bad things happen means that the humans involved can deny any responsibility for their own actions. Everyone is responsible for the choices they make.

    February 22, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. RoninIrvine

    Does CNN or anyone really doubt the existence of good and evil? We have become an ignorant and reckless generation if we doubt the existence of good and evil or doubt the presence of good and evil inside government. Adolf Hitler was elected to head Germany in a time when Germany had a strong Constitution. But Hitler walked all over their Constitution and violated the rights of Jews and other minorities. Obama has also shown a complete disregard for our Constitution and complete disregard for the religious beliefs of Catholics and others. I'm not saying Obama will kill millions of people, but you cannot convince that is not a risk if he is re-elected. Obama is power hungry. The way he pushed ObamaCare down our throats when it was clear Americans did not want it was both unethical and illegal. His recent attacks on the Catholic Church are no less evil than his degrading of the Constitution with ObamaCare. If Obama is re-elected I do not believe he will quietly relinquish power at the end of his second term.

    February 22, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Michael

    You know what is evil? Preemptive Wars

    February 22, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Ronald

    Sometimes it isn't satan, its just a stupid politician bringing religion into politics because he thinks it will help sell his political ambitions. Religion and God doesn't belong in politics!

    February 22, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. The Truth

    For it is written:

    Philippians 2:9-11
    New International Version (NIV)

    9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
    10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

    February 22, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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