Santorum decries charge of bigotry
August 31st, 2011
10:26 PM ET
10 years ago

Santorum decries charge of bigotry

(CNN) – Presidential candidate Rick Santorum defended his position on gay marriage Tuesday while speaking to students at Pennsylvania State University, and slammed CNN's Piers Morgan for questioning him as a "bigot" in a pre-taped interview that aired Wednesday night.

"I had Piers Morgan call me a bigot, because I believe what the Catholic Church teaches with respect to homosexuality," Santorum said, heatedly. "So now I'm a bigot because I believe what the Bible teaches."

In the interview, Morgan pressed the former Pennsylvania senator on his moral beliefs about gay rights, an issue he's repeatedly spoken about on the campaign trail.

Santorum said he subscribes to the Catholic Church's teachings, which deem homosexuality a sin.

Morgan argued that people have a difficult time coming out because "of the level of bigotry that's out there against them."

"And I have to say that your views you've espoused on this issue are bordering on bigotry, aren't they?" Morgan asked, adding that society has evolved in how it views homosexuality.

Santorum countered that the Church's position is founded on more than 2,000 years of history. To adapt those beliefs based on the changing ways of society, he said, would be immoral.

Santorum then lobbed a charge of bigotry back at Morgan.

"Trying to redefine something that is seen as wrong – from the standpoint of a church – and saying a church is bigoted because it holds that opinion that is biblically based, I think that is, in itself, an act of bigotry," Santorum said.

When talking about the other candidates, Santorum, who's previously labeled his campaign "the little engine that could," referred to his GOP opponents as "shiny engines" that are bound to simply come and go.

"We've seen every one of these folks who have shot to the top of the ratings end up coming back down to earth once they have to get in front of the cameras at the debate," Santorum said.

The former senator has been struggling to break into the top tier of the Republican race.

He trails Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. Some polls place him behind businessman Herman Cain and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, as well.

Santorum has especially lashed out against Perry, whom he implied might cower under the scrutiny of a national campaign. In recent weeks, Perry has emerged to front-runner status, appealing to both fiscal and social conservatives–while Santorum continues to assert he is the only true social conservative in the race.

"We haven't seen Gov. Perry in a debate yet," Santorum told Morgan. "We haven't seen him do that much in the way of interviews, yet."

The social conservative highlighted his 12 years as a U.S. senator, arguing that he understands the kind of pressure that a national figure goes through on a campaign.

"There are lots of shiny engines that come out of the round house and go by," Santorum said. "And they're going to get that kind of treatment and inspection that candidates get."

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Gay rights • Rick Santorum • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. KellyinBoston

    The Catholic Church preaches anti-homosexual bias, you little Rick–Not the Bible. You ignoramuses don't understand between the difference.

    August 31, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  2. Normal, non-religious nut

    Yes Rick. You ARE a bigot, defend it with ancient fairytales if you like. You are what you are. BIGOT.

    August 31, 2011 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  3. Sad Clown

    Yup. That's pretty much it.

    I believe the phrase is "separation of church and state." Since 1776 or so.

    August 31, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  4. liya

    Shiny Engines??? are you kidding me this job is not for men who still think and talk like little kids. Give me a break Santorium

    August 31, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  5. Harry Baxter

    I don't know if he's a bigot, but I'm sure that he's a mo*ron.

    August 31, 2011 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  6. Davonroe

    It's not simply that Rick Santorum and the Catholic Church (and most other religions) see homosexuality as a sin. The problem is that when the Santorums of the world know that someone is gay, all other details about the person are tossed aside. Sexual "sins" label people in our society like no other transgressions. The Tea Party and the Christian Right have made it clear that certain people will never be part of their vision of America.

    Before someone asks if I would be so charitable to a pedophile, the answer is no. The difference between a pedophile and a gay or lesbian person is that adults can enter into a legal contract with other adults, and marriage, whatever your religious beliefs, also has legal ramifications in our society. A child can not enter into a legally binding agreement with an adult. That's why, despite the wailing of the right, gay marriage will NOT lead to legalizing pedophilia.

    Finally, from one Christian to another, how does gay marriage prevent a Christian from leading a Christian life? Think of the threats faced by the early Christians, and the ancient Jews before them. Is your "faith" so fragile that you need the law to prevent other adults from living and loving as they choose? Live your life! No one is stopping YOU!

    August 31, 2011 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  7. Henry

    Oh, be quiet, Rick. Go sit in a church at Adoration and think about all those evil gay people and how they don't meet your "biblical" standards.

    August 31, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Thanks Santorum!! "Trying to redefine something that is seen as wrong – from the standpoint of a church – and saying a church is bigoted because it holds that opinion that is biblically based, I think that is, in itself, an act of bigotry," Santorum said." You just pulled a fast one on them!! has bigotry become a prerequisites for any job?

    August 31, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  9. minnie

    Like many a GOPer, I believe Santorum doth protest too much against homosexuals for a reason. I'm sure a floor page, public restroom or public park incident will happen.

    August 31, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't think that Santorum is a bigot. I just don't think he knows enough to understand that everyone deserves a chance to live. He has no consideration for other people that aren't him. He wants everyone to be like him. That is not going to happen, and he doesn't understand that at all either.

    August 31, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  11. citizen

    "Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself."

    August 31, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  12. lawbear

    No, Santorum, you're a bigot because you're a bigot.

    August 31, 2011 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  13. Tyler Derden

    Does it make Santorum a bigot when he calls Morgan a bigot for implying the Catholic church is bigoted because its 2,000 year old position has caused Santorum to be a bigot? Or would that be a stretch of logic?

    BTW I am a straight person and I can tell you that some of the nicest and kindest folks I have ever met are gay. If you just treat them like a human being and give them a chance, you will be glad you did so.

    August 31, 2011 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  14. Jim

    In the Catholic Church, homosexuality is not a sin, however gay sex is.

    September 1, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  15. A Kickin` Donkey

    America is not going to be, and was NEVER envisioned as a theocracy.

    Only in a Christian theocracy would homosexuality be a tpoic for political discussion. I know what Mr. Santorium believes but Leviticus [it`s an abomination for a man to lay with a man as a woman] is IRREVANT as it pertains to earthly governments and laws.

    September 1, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  16. Tom Mulroney

    Rick, do yourself and all of us a favor and just give it up. No one cares about your candidacy (again) and you're going nowhere in the polls (again). Back to obscurity for you and many more years to ponder your transparent and amusing obsession with homosexuality.

    September 1, 2011 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  17. Mike in CA

    Yrs, Santorum, you are a bigot. Time you realized this is the 21st century, not the 1st.

    September 1, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  18. James Bowers

    I have just been watching this interview. I'm a card-carrying Democrat and probably would vote for him due to policy differences HOWEVER Mr. Santorum is clearly a sensitive, intelligent, and loving human being. I wish he and his family everlasting happiness. It was a pleasure to hear him speak. He is clearly the cream of the crop in the Rebublican political community!

    September 1, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  19. drogo, the stallion that mounts the world almost

    Santorum – you are disgusting.

    September 1, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  20. Morganna

    The bible also says slavery is acceptable; a practice even the Catholic church (eventually) acknowledged is wrong. Is the church "bigoted" for changing its view on that subject?

    September 1, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  21. Mary

    The Catholic church preaches that homosexuality is a sin, so Santorum believes homosexuality is a sin. The Catholic church is full of gay priests which preach against homosexuality. What a joke!

    September 1, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  22. matt houston

    "So now I'm a bigot because I believe what the Bible teaches."

    Yes, you are. Do you even understand what you read in this book? Or are you one of the stupid ones who just read it and accept in 100%? If so, then why don't you stone your neighbors for mowing their lawns on Sunday?

    September 1, 2011 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  23. NameThor

    Wow... If the republicans win, and that's a big IF, I wouldn't mind it being Mr. Santorum.His unabashed honesty is refreshing.

    September 1, 2011 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  24. logic in LA

    Catholics, like all Christians are supposed to live by the actions and teaching of Christ. Christ only discriminated against the very type of person these "religious"-types claim to be.
    To cherry pick lines form the Old Testament to live by is hypocritical. I'm sure the man wears leather, mixes fabrics and has never stoned a divorced women. All are part of the same section of the Bible.
    I'm not judging him, just calling him out for trying to hide behind God for his bigotry.

    September 1, 2011 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  25. ThinkAgain

    "Santorum countered that the Church's position is founded on more than 2,000 years of history."

    2,000 years of the Catholic Church being wrong on this issue, for didn't Jesus say we are ALL children of God? And doesn't the New Testament (Jesus' teachings) trump the Old (Leviticus)?

    September 1, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
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