Santorum: Obama leads with a 'different theology'
February 18th, 2012
09:20 PM ET
9 years ago

Santorum: Obama leads with a 'different theology'

Columbus, Ohio (CNN) – Rick Santorum drew applause from Ohio tea party voters - but perhaps raised some eyebrows, too - when he suggested Saturday that President Barack Obama leads based on a theology different from that in the Bible.

It left some wondering whether he was implying that Obama subscribes to a religion other than Christianity.

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The comments came at an event in Columbus shortly after the former senator from Pennsylvania said efficacy and safety improvements in oil drilling technology are considered by the president to be "a dangerous technology."

"It doesn't fit his pattern of trying to drive down consumption, trying to drive up your cost of transportation to accomplish his political science goal of reducing carbon dioxide," he said.

Obama, he continued, is not motivated by "your quality of life.”

“It's not about your job. It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology,” Santorum said. "Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology. But no less a theology.”

The White House hopeful held a press conference later in the day, where a half dozen questions centered on the topic.

Santorum told reporters that the message he was trying to convey was that the president merely holds “different moral values.”

“You may want to call it a theology, you may want to call it secular values,” he said. “Whatever you want to call it. . . it is a different set of moral values that they are imposing on people who have a constitutional right to have their own values within the church.”

He said Obama has reached a “low in this country’s history of oppressing religious freedom that we have never seen before.”

Asked if he believes the president is less of a Christian than someone such as himself, Santorum said that “no one is suggesting that.”

“In the Christian church there are a lot of different stripes of Christianity. . . . I’m just saying he’s imposing his values on the church and I think that’s wrong,” he said.

Responding to a separate question on whether he disagrees with Obama when the president calls himself a Christian, Santorum said, “If the president says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian.”

He added that liberals on “the left” have been imposing their own moral code on Americans for quite some time.

“You can call it a theology, you can call it a moral code, you can call it a world view,” he said. “They want to impose [that] on everybody else while they insist and complain that somehow or another people of Judeo Christian faith are intolerant of their new moral code.”

Santorum's comments may strike certain chords with some Republican voters who have questioned Obama's faith before, or others who saw the administration's recent contraception mandate as an overreach.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt issued a response to the comments, but did not directly address whether the campaign saw this as a direct attack on his Christian credentials.

"This is just the latest low in a Republican primary campaign that has been fueled by distortions, ugliness, and searing pessimism and negativity - a stark contrast with the president who is focused everyday on creating jobs and restoring economic security for the middle class."

Last month, Santorum was criticized by some for not correcting a voter who called the president a Muslim when she stood up to ask a question at one of his campaign town halls.

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Obama budget proposal under fire in GOP address

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Filed under: 2012 • Ohio • President Obama • Rick Santorum
soundoff (438 Responses)
  1. king

    I wonder what "facts" means to these repubs, Obama is drilling way more than bush has. Why don't these repubs never mentions these crooked wall street barrens that are looking for the slightest reasons to push up oil prices just to line their pockets. I know the don't believe in climate change even when they go out side in the middle of winter and see the flowers blooming. They yap about Obama is mess up our children financial future yet they never mention what kind of environment we are carving out for our children. Lesson we have a lot of faith in this country. We don't need a leader who caters to one and seem to refutes the others. Leave church out of state and to your job for the American people.

    February 19, 2012 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  2. Bystander

    Rick Santorum is getting ridiculous day by day. Would anybody consider him as presidential material? I think not.

    February 19, 2012 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  3. seraphim0

    I guess Rick thinks anyone who isn't Christian taliban unholy.

    February 19, 2012 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  4. Timothy Jay Smith

    I'm not sure if Santorum is sicker than he is stupid or stupider than he is sick. Isn't religion enough of a flashpoint as it is? Anybody who would ever consider voting for this neanderthal needs a brain.

    February 19, 2012 04:49 am at 4:49 am |
  5. zephyr

    I don't plan to vote for a politician based on there religion. That would be foolish. We don't need elected officials who make decisions based on some version of the bible. We need decisions based on what is happening today. I'm not voting for a pope, bishop, or any other church position.

    February 19, 2012 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
  6. haystack

    Santorum is correct. President Obama doesn't ascribe to his theology. Santorum's theology requires devotion to a medieval cultural leftover full of child molesters.

    February 19, 2012 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
  7. NoTags

    It appears Ayatollah Santorum has not appointed himself to decide who is a Christian and who is not.

    February 19, 2012 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
  8. galaxy101

    I dug this here hole all by myself just to get away from it all. What the heck are you doing down here Rick??? And put that shovel down... Mr. .... Helper... we're already deep enough !

    February 19, 2012 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  9. Eric

    The word 'abomination' is used 65 times in the OT and 2 times in the NT. The only named abomination in the NT is Luke 16:5 where Jesus calls the love of money an abomination. Will Santorum seek to turn all of these into civil law or only the one slamming gays?

    February 19, 2012 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  10. Softship

    Americans are granted a right of religious freedom. That includes the right to be free of religion.
    It is disgusting that someone who is trying to become a president of this great country hasn't understood that very fundamental fact.

    February 19, 2012 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  11. phyrro

    Is America ready for Ayotollah Santorum?

    February 19, 2012 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  12. bob

    So Santorum, who wants a cop in every bedroom (yes, he DID say that in his book), wants to ban masturbation and contraception....is worried about govt imposing values on people. Golly. Who coulda guessed?

    February 19, 2012 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  13. unowhoitsme

    All religion is a cult. They lead people astray by their own interpretations. Don't confuse religion with God.

    February 19, 2012 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  14. Drake

    Are we back to the religion thing already?

    February 19, 2012 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  15. jbart

    So it's ok for Santorum to impose his moral values on us but it's wrong for Obama to do it?

    February 19, 2012 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  16. zooni

    Santorum and the GOP have reached a low in this country’s history of oppressing women's rights that we haven't seen in 50 years.

    February 19, 2012 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  17. sdfsdf

    Better from another religion, not Theology than blbile banger

    February 19, 2012 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  18. Drinnc

    It matters little which name you give to Obama's twisted view of the world ans his place in it. The overriding facts remain the same. Obama wants to lead us into a socialist state, where the government maintains its power, not by the will of the people, but the dependency of the masses. What he offers us is not freedom, but the most incidious sort of oppresion based in a view that rewards complacency and punishes those who want to make their own way.

    February 19, 2012 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  19. Bernard Webb

    Pandering to Obama-haters like this might bring Santorum a few primary votes, but he would lose to Obama in the general election in a landslide of historic proportions. Santorum laughably tries to portray Obama as out of touch with Americans even has he promotes his own 13th-century medieval views.

    February 19, 2012 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  20. J

    Im sick and tired of all this crap with Religion being such a big issue just for it to be marked as a stipulation in a potential presidents victory! WHO THE HELL CARES WHAT RELIGION THEY ARE FROM!!! IF THEY CAN RUN/MANAGE THE COUNTRY DESPITE THE FACT OF WHAT THEIR RELIGION IS, MORE POWER TO THEM!! Thats the way it should be! Seperation Of Church And State! Im sick and tired of this "christian", "evangelical", "muslim", etc... type talk! I revert back to my earlier question: WHO THE HELL CARES ABOUT WHAT RELIGION THEY ARE?! Its sickening to me how stupid people have become just simply based on the notion of Religion and its role in the Politics when there should be no place of it whatsover in Politics or even Government in general. Stop basing others religions and focus on whats more important, like I dont know, job creation, education, healthcare, etc......

    February 19, 2012 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  21. Bill

    Every time Rick Santorum opens his mouth, I believe less and less that the definition of 'Santorum' I found on Google is anything less than 100% accurate. Please nominate this guy, conservatives! Obama won't even need to show up to any of the debates in order beat this clown in a landslide, although the same could be said of R-Money and Newt Gangrene.

    February 19, 2012 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  22. CARLOS RAMIREZ TREVINO

    Are Americans so ignorant that they accept these blatant distortions by Republican candidates? What do these misconceptions by the candidates say of the caliber of these individuals and the character of their presidencies, were they to get elected? And if these are just desperate attempts to get media attention, what lies will they tell the American people once in office? Am I alone in thinking these lies represent a lack of integrity, professionalism, and moral substance? The only thought that comes to my mind is that these candidates are deceptive, delusional, and desperate.

    February 19, 2012 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  23. tcaud

    He's two-faced: he tells the Right one thing and the moderates something else.

    I'll bet he's playing the crowd until he can get power, and then, down will come the hammer on behalf of radical conservatism.

    February 19, 2012 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  24. J R Brown

    President Obama is no Christian...Jesus never said anything about ROBBING the rich to help the poor, he said to give to the poor of your own abundance.

    I can't think of a single policy of Obama's that is in direct accordance with the teachings of Jesus regarding social values.

    February 19, 2012 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  25. ksmary

    My thoughts on Mr. Santorums words
    1. It is a good thing that a president wants a secular approach of governing. That way no one religious approach is favored.
    2. I guess his grasp of history is a bit weak. For example, the mostly Mormon state of Utah was refused admission as a state until Mormons changed their church's law about polygamy. Sounds like a pretty intrusive push of government into a church's 'values'.

    February 19, 2012 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
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