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. RoninIrvine

    If you want to see evil up close, study ObamaCare. Obama used absolutely illegal means to force congress to vote for it. He got away with it because Eric Holder is just as big a criminal as Obama is. Fast and Furious is another absolutely evil policy that both Holder and Obama were behind. Santorum is absolutely right that good and evil exist. I'm shocked that commenters here seem unfamiliar with the concept of good and evil.

    February 22, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. IndyNC

    Of course Santorum believes in good and evil, otherwise he wouldn't be able to proclaim to all what IS good and what IS evil...

    Pro Santorum – Good
    Anti Santorum – Evil.

    The world acording to Frothy.

    February 22, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    If you want to see Satan and evil at work, the GOBP deathcult is a good place to start.

    February 22, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Eric

    You should really be reporting on what else he said...

    "We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it."

    February 22, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Vote Crazy! Vote for Ricky!

    Rick is seriously crazy. This explains why he is presently leading in the polls. Republicans. What would you do without them? I mean, besides have functioning government, fewer wars, a robust economy, you know, those little things. What would you have for entertainment? Jersey shores? Gimme those wacky republicans any day.

    February 22, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. DRJ

    Three main criteria for a belief to be considered delusional:

    1. certainty (held with absolute conviction)
    2. incorrigibility (not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary)
    3. impossibility or falsity of content (implausible, bizarre or patently untrue)

    Sound familiar? Faith can exist only with the absence of fact. And we are using faith as a litmus test in politics? We are surely doomed! Bring in the Inquisition!

    February 22, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Bourgeois

    If anyone out there thinks that Santorum's Christian beliefs are strange, just wait till the media starts digging into Mormonism. You ain't seen nothin yet.

    February 22, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Tyrone

    Remember folks, the people who know Santorum best, the voters of Pennsylvania where he was a Senator, voted him out of office. Just saying...

    February 22, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. Burt

    It always amazes me how much more angry aetheists are when confronted with an opposing point of view as opposed to the converse. When was the last time you met a Christian who was offended by an aetheist simply announcing their disbelief in God.? Whereas aetheists always seem to go apoplectic by a Christian stating his or beliefs. Personally, I think most aetheists have some sort of personality disorder. Very sad.

    February 22, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Lives7

    I admire Mr. Santorum for practicing his beliefs and being HONEST with the public about his Catholic Faith. John F Kennedy wavered in his faith, slighted his beliefs, and sacrificed his true beliefs to win elections. Sad commentary on the state of Anti-Catholicism in the 1950's and 1960's. Are those bigots any less prevalent in this 21st century? Have we grown from the KKK stance and bigotry against people who hold their beliefs strongly? Unfortunately this answer is a resounding NO. The liberal elites are frothing at the mouth in bigoted anger and indignation of Mr. Santorum and his honest beliefs in Catholicism. These liberal elites and their minions are WILLING and DEDICATED to the undermining of the First Amendment to FORCE the US Bishops to bow in submission to the secular government in denying their 21 centuries foundational tenets. Yes, Mr. Kennedy we are living in a brave and hostile new world. Where the might makes right, and only the strongest survival the tyranny of the secular gods of our age. Mr. Santorum who have our admiration. Stay strong and remember this Ash Wednesday that they crucified our Lord as well. Godspeed, son.

    February 22, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Dave in San Juan Capistrano CA

    Jews, Christians, Islam all believe in Satan - Islam in particular (they agreeing with RS with a passion on this one). Hindi's believe in hundreds of demons. Pagans believe in hundreds of demons. So, where is the outrage with Islam on this. Where is the expose by Bilitzer on the Moslem's believing in Satan? What's the matter Wolf, afraid of upsetting your base. The hypocracy of the left on this issue is incredible. Not once has CNN criticized the Moslem" s for believing in Satan. And you guy deny that CNN is in the tank for Obama.

    February 22, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Barry G.

    Rick,

    What's your position on putting a halt to lobbyists, who have corrupted and destroyed our country?

    No position on this?

    I guess it's safer to stick with hollow and shallow rhetoric and platitudes, than to actually take a stance on something substantive, like putting an end to corruption.

    How about you, Mitt, and you, Newt?

    What's your position on taking money from lobbyists, in exchange for favors and preferential treatment?

    No comment?

    Would you rather stick with shallow and hollow platitudes?

    Boast about how conservative and religious you are?

    February 22, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. theo

    This is news? Millions of Christians share Santorum's belief about Satan, why is this newsworthy? In a speech he gave as a Catholic to a Catholic University FOUR YEARS AGO? Duh, it's a smear campaign by RINO Drudge who supports Romney. Here's what Romney believes: Jesus and Satan are brothers. God the father has a body, married a goddess and conceived Jesus. There are lots of gods, and we can all become gods. Standard Mormon belief. But Santorum's the crazy one? Riiiiight.

    February 22, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. Henry Miller

    And you're just the guy to define what's good and what's evil because your imaginary god tells you so.

    Such arrogance!

    February 22, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. scooter

    The more a candidates uses his "faith" as a political tool the longer the horns grow out of the top of his head. And as for the devil: Why would the devil, the dude who ticks people into following him, use Christianity as his disguise? You'd never follow some Lord of the Rings style beast anywhere. But a some guy who looks clean cut, spouts the bible like he wrote it. At the same time this "Christian" tends to look down his scaly nose at the poor and thinks we should just wait for the people who are going to have a hard time getting through the needles-eye, to do the right thing. And thinks that a man who slaughters a family and impregnates a rape victim is "doing Gods will" Sorry mac, any devil can put a cross on his neck.

    February 22, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. vatoloke

    Santorum: 'I believe in good and evil'

    But mostly, evil.

    February 22, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Fred Williams

    He probably won't have food nazis going through 4 year old's lunches and taking them away declaring that the "mother" is too stupid to give her child what she wants that child to eat. If odumby can't be beaten on this 1 item alone then we are doomed as a nation!

    February 22, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Isaac

    If you want to get technical, the United States of America was founded on Satanic philosophy. After all, you else would be the greatest proponent of individual liberty than the one who rebelled against God? So with that in mind, we lost the war against the devil ages ago. If you happen to believe in that sort of thing that is. I don't. Treating evil as if it had a physical embodiment is ludicrous and a waste of time. Santorum should be rightly derided for such idiocy.

    February 22, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. RoninIrvine

    I'm not a Catholic, but you people are delusional if you think Catholic views are strange, atypical or out-of-date. The Catholics/Christian religion is the largest religion in the world. Santorum's views are in line with the pope. The existence of good and evil is well established.

    February 22, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    I believe Santorum is good and evil....but good....

    February 22, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. Church Lady

    What, 600+ comments on a Satan post and not a single Church Lady reference? You guys disappoint me. Who could have made Rick say such a thing? Who could it possibly be? Mmmmmmm...... Saaaatan!!!

    February 22, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. Dave in San Juan Capistrano CA

    Bourgeois is right. The Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers from a god who a physical person on another planet (I kid you not, check it out under Mormon theology). But, the left is VERY AWARE of all of this. That is why the mainstream press is NOW doing puff pieces on Romney's Mormonism being such a wonderful family religion - which it is. Buttttttt, wait until Romney gets the nomination folks. Then you will see the mainstream press (ABC,CBS,CNN,NYT) come up with scathing expose's of Mornonism. If you think Santorum's Catholicism is not mainstream, wait til you see what the NY Times does to Romney's religion.

    February 22, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. DrBob

    "We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country, and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it," he said.
    Hmm... Wonder if this will have any impact on the hardcore evangelicals who were rushing to support Santorum. It's funny that one of Rick Perry's stooges was castigated for questioning Romney's Christianity, and here's ole Rick himself calling down fire and brimstone on Protestants! What a hoot!

    February 22, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. Michael Chapel Hill

    God and Satan did the same things since the birth of time till today. However, when people think that they know everything and does not acknowledge God or follow God's goodness, they support Satan.

    February 22, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Windy City Al

    This guy Santorum is about one step away from advocating the burning of witches.

    February 22, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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