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

    Can you dummies see that this dude is sick in the head. He scare the hell out of me he is full of demons.

    February 18, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  2. Elizabeth

    This guy is a class one hypocrite and certainly does not follow the Jesus of the Bible. He is arrogant, and hostile. God forbid he proceeds any further. It is an embarrassment to this country that so many unqualified candidates have been on top or close in the Republican primaries.

    February 18, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  3. ThePreacherTheTeacherFromNJ

    Please please please nominate this guy. I really want to see him in the General Election

    February 18, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  4. VeryOldMan

    "President Barack Obama leads based on a theology different from that in the Bible"? Really? Does he mean anyone practicing contraception has a different theology? Even if they are Catholic? He must believe some kind of Catholic theology practicing by less than 5% of the Catholics, which might include most of the bishops.

    February 18, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  5. CEL1

    Mr Santorum seems to think we are a CAtholic nation and should share the CAtholic Theology. We cannot even prove that we are a Christian nation, much less Catholic. He needs to bow before Jesus and not before the Pope. He is no man;s judge and needs to get his own house in order before telling Mr Obama to clean his house.

    February 18, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  6. Allan H. Clark

    It is very doubtful that Santorum has any knowledge of President Obama's theology. This is the kind of over-the-top "red meat" that plays well with the far right wing of the Republican Party, but if Santorum is their nominee, they will see an enormous defeat in November. They need to get him off the stage quickly before he ruins their chances.

    February 18, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  7. Rod from Indy

    What an out of touch, sick twist.

    February 18, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  8. packerfans

    Come On Vote for Mitt Romney!! Chruch and States are separation!!

    February 18, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  9. Mercfan

    I'm a little wary of people standing on a soap box proclaiming to be more religious than others.

    Matthew 6:5-6

    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you

    Matthew 7:1-2
    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    February 18, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  10. retphxfire

    Who are the idiots who are applauding and supporting him? He wants to turn this into a Theocracy, with laws that would mirror many Middle Eastern countries. He needs to go away and his followers need to stopping CHOOSING

    February 18, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  11. gt

    quick rev. wright come to the president defence...

    February 18, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  12. retphxfire

    (SHEESH, it was posted before finished) ....they need to stopping CHOOSING to remain ignorant. Perhaps they should all take a remedial Eary American history class and a reminder about the purpose of our republic.

    February 18, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  13. SHaskins

    Santorum is trying to pit Catholics angainst Protestants. I mean there is a whole catholic Bible. I'm not sure we protestants even know what is in it. Both faiths have different moral codes, different liturgies, different creeds. It wasn't until the late JFK was elected that a Catholic was even allowed to be president, so Mr. Santorum you are lucky it is not 1961. Perhaps things have changed in 50 years and you need to keep up with the times.

    February 18, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  14. Starstuff

    Another Christian nut... I will be voting for Santorum in the Texas republican primary and I'll be voting for Obama in the presidential election.

    February 18, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  15. Michael in NJ

    I suppose Santorum would know a thing or two about "phony theology".

    February 18, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  16. Eric of Reseda

    Over half of America's citizens hold to that same "theology", Santorum. Furthermore, Santorum has exposed himself as an infected capitalist. Infected by greed. Because the thing that scares the super wealthy more than anythng, the thing that threatens their system of control, is that the American people will realize that this CRAZY culture of, "Buy, buy, BUY!", has contibuted to not only pollution, a shortage of resources at reaosnable prices, but to a TRUE moral decay. Consumerism run amok has taken the place of family, friends, integrity, health, you-name-it. "Keeping up with the Joneses", a condition that LONG predates Obama, has gotten out of control. Children GOTTA have! Parents struggle to keep up. We drive two blocks to the store, and people wonder why America has an obesity problem like no other country. Santorum is a FRAUD. A tool for industry. A religious Fascist. If this man becomes President, may this country pay a dear, dear price for it's foolishness so that true enlightenment can take root.

    February 18, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  17. Shuksan

    Rick: Thou shalt not bear false witness...

    February 18, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  18. nolimits3333

    Obama is more tolerant and Christian than Santorum will ever be.

    February 18, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  19. Allen

    This is simply a foul play by Mr. Santorium who on one hand believes in the seperation of church and state and on the other apparently believes if you;re not a Christian (whatever that means in the U.S.) you shouldn't be in politics. You are a hypocrite of the worst kind Ricky just like most of the alleged Christians in this country.

    February 18, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  20. Stev

    That different theology is called 'Protestantism'. Indeed dangerous from the perspective of Santorum's Opus Dei.

    February 18, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  21. longshot

    Santorum is running for Pope of the US

    February 18, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  22. dwt

    Thus begins the marginalizing of yet another not-Romney...

    February 18, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  23. Evan

    As a Christian, I don't think that in good conscience I could vote for a man who drags theological rhetoric into a political campaign. Many so-called Christian churches are hypocritical enough but dragging the pulpit onto the campaign stage really beats the cake. I'm not Mormon, and voted Democrat in the last Presidential election, but if I was inclined to vote Republican, this may sway me to vote Romney. If Santorum is the party's choice, then it makes my choice all the easier.

    February 18, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  24. Garrett

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

    Let's see
    Ban gay marriage thus seeing my friends suffer
    Increase my taxes
    Decrease taxes on the rich and corporations
    Get lots of oil for said corporations through fracking and drilling while my price at the pump stagnates
    Remove my rights as a worker to "compete" with China
    Remove the minimum wage
    Do away with medicaid as we know it
    Force your religious values on me
    Go to war with Iran

    Gee, ol'froth-and-no-substance, you've sure got Obama beaten.

    February 18, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  25. Marla

    Our president is following the rule of separation of church and state. Theology should have nothing to do with government. President Obama is correct in keeping his faith personal and governing using scientific principles.

    February 18, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
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