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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I believe in Good and Evil also.
    I see your kind trying to "crucify", and banish Good with fear, hatred, and blatant lies just like you've done throughout the ages.
    Not this time you cross-wearing hypocrite. And definitely NOT THIS YEAR.
    Obama 2012.

    February 22, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. Mary-Beth Frazee

    Thank goodness Drudge posted it. That was the best thing for Santorum campaign if he wants to win. This type of person is who America needs holding the reins – not afraid to say what every other God worshiper has been saying since Clinton. If you're Christian, Jew or Muslim – you have to see that we're in a fight between good and evil..

    February 22, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  3. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Yeah, Ricky boy, America believes in evil too. That's why the majority of Americans are voting against you if you make it to November, because you said rape is a gift because it brings a new life into the world.

    Tell that to all the ladies in America and see what that does for you. Oh, wait, you already did.

    February 22, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. James

    Satan doesn't attack "things" like America. Satan attacks people, individuals.

    February 22, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. Matt D

    Safe to assume that Matt Drudge is in the bag for Mitt. It's ashamed that he's been so blatant about it... he's losing the respect of many conservatives – even if we happen to support Mitt.

    February 22, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. Jay D. Angel

    Santorum is insane. It should be obvious to everyone now that he is no different than the mullah's of Iran, babbling about mystical sky-daddies and supernatural creatures from an old book of fairy tales. How anyonw could POSSIBLY vote for him is utterly incomprehensible.

    February 22, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. Richard MacKinnon

    I am glad Franklin brought up the issue of Christians suffering in Muslim countries. If we don't stand up for them, who will?
    That is not slighting the plight of Palestinians. I am praying for Pres. Obama, that he would depend on God and carry out His will.

    February 22, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  8. Jay D. Angel

    > “Guys these are questions that are not relevant to what’s being discussed in America today,” Santorum said.

    YOU'RE the one discussing these things and insisting that this stuff is true! YOU'RE the one that gave speeches about it! So, YES, it's very much on our minds, because you sound like a crazy person.

    February 22, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. kiki c

    i love this man. if this country doesn't elect him, then we don't deserve him.

    February 22, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  10. John

    So Drudge is eating its own? No not really. Matt Drudge was never on side of true conservatism. He's in the business of shock news, working hard to divide and desensitize Americans. I hope the voters walk all over Matt Drudge's liberal pick of Romney. Come on Michigan!!

    February 22, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  11. Randy

    "Excerpts of Santorum’s speech were splashed across the conservative leaning Drudge Report for much of Tuesday. "

    I have never seen Drudge refer to CNN as "Liberal leaning". In fact – Drudge very seldom throws in his own two cents. He merely reports (links to) what other journalists/opinionators have to say. Therefore, I wouldn't expect Drudge to call CNN "Liberal leaning".

    But it's no surprise that an entity that is consistently left of center would refer to a non-opinionated entity "conservative leaning" since, from the leftist vantage point, the center is 'right'.

    February 22, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Not Sure

    He's right of course, but maybe Satan is not the word to use. If you substitute the word "evil" it's still the same message, and still 100% on target.

    February 22, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. k

    All we need is someone this self righteous in the most powerful office in the country.

    February 22, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  14. Forest Wilson

    Talk about anything except the abysmal state of the US finances. Talk about anything except the massive growth of Government and the restriction of FREEDOM. Look at this America, we are SCREWED:

    National Debt $15,000,000,000,000.00
    Tax Revnue $ 2,100,000,000,000.00
    Spending $ 3,800,000,000,000.00
    Deficit $ 1,700,000,000,000.00
    Budget Cuts $ 38,500,000,000.00

    Now, let’s put this in terms even a Candidate for President, or a hapless Obama voter can understand, a household budget, by lopping off 8 zeros from the numbers:

    Unsecured Debt $150,000.00 (not unlike a credit card)
    Household Income $ 21,000.00
    Household Spending $ 38,000.00
    Household Deficit $ 17,000.00 (goes on the credit card)
    Household Budget Cuts $ 385.00 (how much hot air was spent to cut this?)

    WHY ARE THE POLITICIANS NOT DISCUSSING THIS? We need a miracle, not another dim wit Politician. WHAT NOW AMERICA?

    February 22, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  15. John

    Santorum has declared war on libertarianism: “I’ve got some real concerns about this movement within the Republican Party and the tea party movement to sort of refashion conservatism, and I will vocally and publicly oppose it.”

    So he's obviously against free markets, personal liberty and Satan. What's not to love? lol

    Dump Santorum.

    February 22, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  16. Bubba

    Yea! more religious wars to come.

    February 22, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  17. KTYBOFF

    He is right, Drudge has come out of the closet to show himself to be a LIB republican!!!

    February 22, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. gaiafan

    Seriously? "these are questions that are not relevant to what’s being discussed in America " I do beg to differ. I find it entirely relevant that a presidential candidate continuously uses religious dogma in his campaign. This country is not a theocracy. Santorum's extreme views are contrary to Article VI, paragraph 3 of the U.S. Constitution.

    February 22, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. Smitty77

    Santorum is a really polarizing person. He will get the extreme religious vote but are there that many of them in the country so far fight? He never menntions the fact that there are 7 billion people on this planet now and the predictions for 20 to 50 years hense are really scary!

    February 22, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. Art Green

    I like Drudge and it's my first click to news daily. That said, it's also the top mind control news site. The headlines themselves are designed steer the reader. If I were Illuminati, Drudge would be on my payroll where they could, shall we say, suggest content and wording.

    February 22, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. cbinflux

    FROM JAMES TARANTO, THE TWEET OF THE DAY: Weird religion [Santorum]: Satan is against America. Normal religion [Obama]: “God damn America.”

    February 22, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. Jimi

    How is this "a controversial speech"? What is the controversy?

    February 22, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  23. toledofan

    The media is just out of control; talk about misinformation or taking things out of context, it's just discusting. But, what is just mind boggling is that people listen to this kind of stuff and think it's the truth. The left so fears the truth and understands that the majority of Americans don't buy into their logic. I think they see Santorum as a threat.

    February 22, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  24. Joseph Christensen

    Doesn't he know what happens to people who mess with Drudge?

    February 22, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  25. Stop the Charade

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

    Senator, since time immemorial there has been a segment of every population that wants to tell other people how to live their lives. You are not the only person who believes in good and evil, you just happen to be one that is selling it in order achieve your political goals. America is not now, has never been and will never be a theocracy so, Rick, its just small segment of the population that wants to talk about what you are preaching to them.

    February 22, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
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