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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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.

Also see:

Gingrich suggests candidacy rests on Georgia

Obama budget proposal under fire in GOP address

Friess apologizes for birth control comment

Six members withdraw from Waters probe


Filed under: 2012 • Ohio • President Obama • Rick Santorum
soundoff (438 Responses)
  1. Jib76

    The Republican theology includes repesling Obamacare. Repealing Obamacare will spread sickness and cost lives. For example, the unregulated drug companies are stopping production of generic life-saving medicines. If Obamaxare was allowed to be fulling implemented, sickness would be stopped and souls saved.

    February 18, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  2. texasmike

    This muslim garbage AGAIN/ What is WITH these fundamentalist psychos anyway?

    February 18, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  3. pprty

    Santorum, you may be the anti-Christ.

    February 18, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  4. midwestmatt

    Yes, he holds different moral values. They are A) Not extremist, B) Not crazy, and C) Do not call on him to legislate his narrow point of view into law.

    Thanks, Rick. We've heard enough.

    February 18, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  5. Jessica

    Wait, Rick Santorum thinks opposing your beliefs on people is wrong?

    So I guess he no longer thinks his Fundamentalist Christian beliefs should be imposed on people. Sweet, abortion access and gay marriages for everyone!

    This guy is a joke.

    February 18, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  6. craig

    Theology? If he's citing the Bible, exactly which theology contained therein is he citing. Let's see. There's obviously the Jewish theology, along with a whole lot of others in the books of the old testament. Then there's the theology as taught by Jesus, which, as we know, has very little to do with what the Catholic and Protestant churches turned it into later. Dunno. I kinda doubt anybody's theology matches the "whole Bible." I do, however, know that should Santorum be elected, the office of the President would represent a theology that pretty well matches that found in some other places. Places like Iran...where a bunch of old clerics, all male, get together and tell everyone else what to do...sorta like that panel in the House hearings last week. Yup, that would work. We won't need Freedom of Religion when the State IS the church...according to Ricky!

    February 18, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  7. Dear Republicans;

    Have you watched World News lately? Well, quick update, President Obama is very BUSY! Stop the games, get serious...

    February 18, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  8. Dan, TX

    Santorum wants us to believe that other candidates like Romney and Obama have theologies that aren't normal, but his is correct. After all, If you don't believe the Pope is God's only true representative on Earth, then you are going to hell. Oddly, Santorum has denied some of the ideas of the Catholic Church himself in order to please the Evangelicals, so it is a bit odd for him to try to suggest that others are not orthodox..

    February 18, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  9. Peter

    More of the seedy undertones from some on the right who insist on portraying Obama as "not one of us". "He's a Muslim".
    "He wasn't born in the USA". "He isn't a Christian". "He is a Socialist". "He is a Communist". "He's not one of us". Maybe a bit of racism in there, too? In some cases, yes. Santorum is sending "code" the same way that Pailn sent "code" when she talked about "real America" (i.e. small town America).....you know, a place where there are few blacks, Jews, Asians. You know...."REAL America". Watch out for these people. They are bringing out the worst in America.

    February 18, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  10. dennis galloway

    What happened to the separation of church and state? Do we now have a religious litmus test for politicians?

    February 18, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  11. Kevin Tudish

    Santorum follows a theology of intolerance and hatred, not a Christian theology. He seems to ignore pretty much everything in the New Testament, all that scripture about loving your neighbor. He practices hatred toward anyone who sees the world differently from the way he does, and he practices hatred, and the usual Republican mudslinging, toward people whose politics aren't just like his. There's nothing Christian about this guy.

    February 18, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  12. alleygator

    Ayatollah Rick sez President Obama isn't 'religiously correct'. Do we really want this fanatic to be our president?

    February 19, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  13. Ramesh Shrestha

    Rick Santorum is a nut to say President Obama espouses a different Christian theology. How can one judge others' faith? As I always say, these religionists are bunch of nutjobs.

    February 19, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  14. InCalifornia

    This guy is disgusting and idiot.

    February 19, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  15. Christian Faith

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

    Oppression? I don't see any difference in religious freedom with Obama than I did with Reagan, or Carter, or Nixon. There are no secret police rounding people up, or churches being closed down by government thugs. Faith-based food shelves are still operating to fill in for the gaping hole that exists in our national "safety net' for the poor and vulnerable in our society. I personally work with the Salvation Army and am a Salvationist, and I believe that politicians like Santorum are simply using such rhetoric for his OWN political agenda, and I hear NOTHING from him about how he will reach out to people in the manner of Jesus Christ, to HELP the sick and the poor!!! He speaks with much criticism, but offers little else in the way of solutions and Christian actions to demonstrate his claim to moral superiority.

    February 19, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  16. Me 3

    Someone shut this nut job up.

    February 19, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  17. yogi

    This man with his mini sermons has distorted perceptions of reality. Another GOP candidate in a field of deeply flawed characters. It is truly incredible that the Republicans cannot bring forth candidates who possess a healthy dose of intellect, and a broad vision of what it takes to be a true leader. We are constantly exposed to the expressions of narrow minded, quasi religious principles, and a complete absence of universal spiritual principles.

    February 19, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  18. Bob

    I like the Wizard of Oz.

    February 19, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  19. Foreverwar

    Spinctorum should take his head up from inside his butt cheeks and come up for air from time to time.

    February 19, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  20. Rob

    He should say that to Romney!!!!! When are we going to stop hearing anything from this clown??

    February 19, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  21. Joe public1

    I'm voting Santorum for Theologian And Chief!

    February 19, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  22. m

    Interesting that he complains about someone else imposing their values on the world but he has no problem wanting to impose his values on an entire country. Santorum isn't happy living 100 years in the past where women & minorities were nothing but property. He has no problem pushing what he claims are his superior moral values on anyone that he can. Yet, he doesn't want to have his freedoms taken away by others.

    Santorum's type of thinking died long ago, unfortunately there are enough zealots out there to keep this archaic way of thinking alive. The only good thing is that the more Santorum talks, the more he proves what a narrow minded i-di-ot he really is.

    February 19, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  23. Catsha

    Santorium seems to be questioning the morality of responsibility for global warming, the right of women to control over their bodies but doesn't seem to question is own theology that pledges himselve to follow the leader of a foreign country(Vatican) who was a Nazi and conspired as part of that organization to cover up the largest child abuse ring in history. This is a world where people like him should return to the dark halls from whence they came.

    February 19, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  24. Valco

    I am Catholic and I am quite familiar with the Bible,the same one Santorum reads and I do not want his values forced on me. Most of my friends,Cahtolic and non Catholic,, feel the same way. Santorum is a warped, sanctimonious mess. He has said that Contraception is a bad thing because it leads to bad things. What bad things? Speak English!! He and the Catholic Bishops would march this country,all faiths, right back to the dark ages if you give them the chance. President Obama never waged a war on religion. He stood up for women and their health rights. The fact is that the Bishops and Santorum know this and are just flat out lying. What kind of a Christian does that? Not a very decent one and they sure as hell have no right to ever question President Obama's faith or morals. Let them continue on their path to defeat. We know hypocrits when we see them.The women and many decent men will stand up for ALL people's rights . I truly hope this guy gets the nomination. I want to see President Obama take on Santorum and his really ugly ideas on. The President can count on women and we may carry the day.

    February 19, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  25. OrangeW3dge

    We all can only hope that Rick Santorum gets what he deserves.
    His is a different Theology for sure, the Theology of lies and hate... good luck Ricky boy.

    February 19, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18