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. Maki

    Unapologetic, and into the constitution. I dig it.

    February 21, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  2. Joel

    we all have the right to believe whatever we want as far as religion goes, according to the first amendment...and also we have the right to say what we want, which means we can claim whatever religion we want. however, a true Christian knows that God is love and would want us to preach and practice love, not the bigoted hatred that you speak.
    you may say you are a Christian, but you exhibit the opposite in your actions and speech. considering how this nation is supposed to be a place of religious freedom, you are infringing on the right of the president, your leader, to his freedom of religion. he says he is a Christian, so that is what i consider him. he hasn't presented any reason for me to believe otherwise. this doesn't matter to me, as the beliefs we have impact ourselves, not others. the only thing i am concerned with is having a leader in place to lead this country in the right direction. and by being a liar, you are not the one for that job!

    February 21, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  3. Cat in the Hat

    Good for Rick. Good for any candidate to just be themselves. Equivocating to every objection and politically correct sound bite is not what being a decisive person is about. I wish Obama would just state what he believes. As for me, Rick represents the truth and not everyone will agree. But, I am interested in God, our values, and the spiritual warfield we are in. And he states it eloquently.

    February 21, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  4. Frank

    If you are going to go after Santorum as to his faith position, then please do the same to the President. Why is it the questions of faith are asked to Republicans, but off limits to the Democrat candidate? Is it to simply be assumed that Democrats' faith positions do not matter? They certainly have a faith position. Please, if you are going to grill Republican candidates as to theirs, let's, in the interest of fairness, give the Democrats the opportunity to do the same. I am sure they are champing at the bit to let us all know who, or what, drives them to do what they do and be who they are.

    February 21, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  5. Steve

    He'll "defend" everything he says, huh? Like what he said about making black peoples lives better by giving them someone elses money? He defended THAT by denying he said it! Santorum is a coward. A spineless coward. He has no business commanding Soldiers.

    February 21, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  6. James

    When you tell the truth it is way harder then telling the lie of the left.. yes you can have it all for free.. No the Rich will pay for it... How stupid must you be, Simple math can prove all your worlds END.. Rich= 1 Poor =100.. Rich does not make more poor.. poor does not = more rich.. The person who made a wallet did not make poor people.. Poor people never made a wallet right? so the person who made the wallet should fill it for those who did not make it? Oh thats right Government Should Force people to fill it? you jackasses are all the same No thought all Firebomb a inoccent..

    February 21, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  7. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Women not only recognize good and evil but they also VOTE!!!! and we will be there to see that Santorum, the puppet master fails!!!!

    February 21, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  8. kaptain kanada

    I'm sure that Santorum does believe in good and evil; I'm equally sure that the hypocrite is on the side of evil.
    What the USA needs is not another phony "Christian" posturing and posing, but "Liberty and justice for all." And the only way to return to such a condition is to elect Dr Ron Paul.
    RON PAUL 2012!

    February 21, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  9. Lady CoCo

    There was a threat of Satan in 2008 and he is now residing in the White House, sending this country to hell in a hand basket. He wants four more years to finish the job.

    February 21, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  10. Emery

    Santorum forgot to mention that Satan's greatest vehicle of destruction of the USA is Zionism and the corruption of the religion of peace by Zionist warmongers that serve Satan's plan for One World Government..

    February 21, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  11. JM in San Diego CA

    I'm an odd duck - a Conservative Atheist. I'd like to see a Republican unseat Obama. He's the worst President we've ever had.

    However, if Rick Santorum starts pushing his faith out front at every opportunity, he'll screw the pooch, for sure. I think religion is silly ... stupid, even.

    Garden of Eden, rib woman, talking snake, forbidden fruit. You're kidding about all that, right?

    The flood. Where did the extra water come from? Where'd it go afterward? Sorry kids, the baloney only gets sliced so thin and no more. When I can read through it, it's Game Over.

    February 21, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  12. David S. Harvey

    It's Over Rick – Sorry!

    February 21, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  13. dan5404

    You share my belief in good and evil, Rick, I believe you are truly evil and that Barack Obama is a good man. But, that's only my opinion plus tens of millions more sane voters.

    February 21, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    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.

    ***
    Oh, BS! All you do, Ricky, is push your fundamentalist religious agenda, with the sole intention of turning our country into a theocracy. Hypocrite!

    February 21, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  15. New York Nick

    The way this country mocks people of faith would make our founders sick to their stomachs. They came here for freedom to practice their religion unfettered from the English Crown

    now everything they came here for is dismissed and mocked by the useful idiots and commie tools co opted by the inside the wire Marxists and Muslims here planting their flag for the day the great satan destroys itself.

    February 21, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  16. len

    :Santorum dismissed the Drudge article as “absurd."

    Drudge writes articles?

    February 21, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  17. james

    Romney is not the best choice Paul isn't the best one either.Search this[the mormon plan for America and the rise of Mitt Romney] [Is Mitt Romney''s candidacy part of the eternal plan of the mormon church] The truth about Mormons and Christianity] Are the Mormons a cult] [Are Mitt and Paul members of a secert society] Search the top 10 secret societys of the world] [search all of the presidents who are members of secret societys from washington to Obama.]people in our goverment who belong to a secret society both sides] the 80 year old red neck from western pa

    February 21, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  18. Todd P.

    Santorum is a far-right, religious NUT, intent on forcing his bizarre morals on everyone. Romney might be a super-Conservative Morman, but at least he isn't browbeating everyone ELSE to become religious. Santorum obviously intends to have his own, little theocracy in the White House. Anyone that willingly sleeps with a CORPSE for a night, and then lets his KIDS "hold" and "carry around" (his words, ot mine) the corpse is too far out for me! Rick will get PUMMELED by Obama if he is the nominee......

    February 21, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  19. Ann Pierce

    little ricky is in over his head. He has never run anything, not even a good campaign, and hasn't had a real job. He has no understanding of economics, and no leadership capabilities. His holier than thou comments are laughable when you consider he was listed as one of the most corrupt politicians in Washington by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington for two years running in 2005 and 2006. He is big spender and insider and his comments will not survive the general election. I hate to say it but Trump is right. If Santorum gets the nomination, tie a Merry Christmas to Obama tag to him and put him under the tree.

    February 21, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  20. ZackJ

    I think the Satan targeting the US comment is not the controversial part. It may sound silly to some people but if you believe in the idea of God and the Devil, it shouldn't seem particularly absurd. The only question would be why would he target the US in particular. That is a subject that some can debate but there are far more important issues at hand.

    The controversial part was his comment on protestants. I don't think he was accusing protestants of being evil but even in context his comments were not good. Of course those comments will be taken out of context and made worse but they were still bad either way. I don't personally care either way but it may hurt him. But who knows, given how this election has gone so far?

    February 21, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  21. tonyl

    Talk about evil. Santorum needs to look in the mirror. He needs to explain why he lost the election as a senator. The man is a loser and full of hot air and people in his district figured it out. Which last senator lost the senate seat by 17 points and then became the president? He is twisted and abnormal.

    February 21, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  22. GOP_Hypocrites

    Too bad he doesn't believe in sanity.

    February 21, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. westward

    And we all thought Romney was the negative hate-speak candidate...Santorum just does it under the veil of religion.

    "Evangelicals", if you really are people of faith, wise up and look at which candidates are using you as a political tool.

    February 21, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  24. reggie patrick

    A man with clear convictions, and faith in God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, will agree with Rick Santorum's profession of faith, concerning spiritual warfare and the attacks that have been going on, for decades, against our nation's institutions.

    Those with defiled consciences, in unbelief , being full of despite and hate for the Word of God, will rail and rage against those of faith. We are seeing the rage and ranting from the Media Governmental Complex.

    February 22, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  25. Doug

    Drudge for the first time in a while got this absolutely wrong. He should have never made this a story. I lost a lot of respect for Drudge today.

    February 22, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
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