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.

Also see:

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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. Texico

    God please nominate him GOP!!! PLEASE!!! This will assure Obama of a 2nd term! You tea party idiots need to wake the feck up....

    February 19, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  2. Timothy M. Antosy

    It seems Rick Santorm will say whatever makes his audience at the time happy. Lets count up the thngs this man will drop down too. If you happen to believe that a woman has the right to decide what she wants for her own body that makes you a Communist. That make the Communist happy. If you are a Catholic and you don't agree with the Obama health care plan and Santorum disagrees with that, that makes the Catholics happy. Lets see what the Protestants want because whatever they want he will be for and also the Muslims or the Jewish population of the United States or any other religious denomination wants. Just make your complaint to Santorum and he will come out to defend you. It all depends how many votes you are going to give him

    February 19, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  3. jeffonbass

    Keep talkin' Rick. I'm sure everyone feels the same way – we all secretly want to live under a theocratic regime and you can be the first pope/president ever. You can do it, man. Don't listen to the naysayers. Keep truckin'

    February 19, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  4. chris

    Why does it matter?????

    February 19, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  5. Big_D

    All Christianity is unified behind this goofball because there is only one Catholic, I mean Episcopal, Lutheran, Adventists, LDS, Baptist, Pentecostal, er what religion is unified in Christianity? The Church of right wing assumptions?

    February 19, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  6. DanO

    This guy has bats in his head

    February 19, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  7. fandancy

    Desperate statements by a desperate man with strange thoughts. The Donald should hurry up and find Obama's birth certificate so he can have more time to tutor the Rickster.

    February 19, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  8. Leroy

    Mr. Santorum, to put it politely, is a freaking idiot!

    February 19, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  9. Mason

    Wow! Talk about imposing one' s views! What a kook!

    February 19, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  10. David

    Yeah, Rick's "just sayin'". Well, keep on "sayin" it Rick, it just proves how crazy you really are.

    February 19, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  11. Lisa

    Santorum is an idiot. So, so tired of his " I am more Godlier" than anyone else. He has truly missed that message that not everyone Is tied to the church. I absolutely HATE his social proposals. What a knucklehead.

    February 19, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  12. ScottyD

    Santorum is a religious zeolot not unlike what the Taliban and others are trying to impose. It is fine for him to criticize others as "putting down religious freedom" as long as he can control your every thought and your every prayer. Santorum is of the most dangerous type in politics and in America. We cannot stand for this type of individual who will do what ever it takes to take away all freedoms that don't fit his "ideal" world.

    February 19, 2012 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  13. CedarRapids

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

    Heres the thing Rick, if hes trying to do anything to lower cardon dioxide due to the effects of climate change....hes trying to improve everyone's quality of life, the whole damn planet.
    Is he motivated by your job? no not really, because against that, it really doesn't matter, sorry, it just doesn't.

    “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.”

    oh, you mean like being against contraception, pro-choice, gay marriage and the like? I get it.

    February 19, 2012 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  14. tony

    Paul Joseph Goebbels (German: [ˈɡœbəls][2]; 29 October 1897 – 1 May 1945) was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. As one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealous oratory

    February 19, 2012 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  15. MiguelRoger79

    What can we say about Santorum other that hes a desperate jack@ss... But that would be an insult to the animal with that name!

    February 19, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  16. Kristopher

    Why can't we as a race get beyond the silly, ancient notion of religion? It only serves to divide.

    February 19, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  17. Jeff

    God. Save us from your followers. Amen.

    February 19, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  18. Texasman

    I find Santorum's acceptance of religious bigotry to win votes among the evangelicals very disturbing. Closed door strategy sessions against Romney in Texas and compromising himself as a Presidential candidate by the "laying on of hands" as an endorsement against Romney violates separation of church and state.  Santorum needs a lesson on the first amendment.  He knows part of it regarding religion from government, but he does not seem to understand as President he represents all people of different faiths and people who chose not to believe.  Santorum divides people.  His latest remarks about the President's faith minimally betrays the commands of Jesus and the Bible to be charitable, tolerant, and not self-righteous.  He needs to take the aspirin out from between his knees and put it between his lips.  

    February 19, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  19. Vader

    Woo hoo!

    Way to go Ayatollah Ricky.

    No one, I repeat, no one is trying to stop you or any other Christian, Jew, Muslim, Druid, or any other belief system from adhering to your own particular brand of dogma "within your church". It's when you try to bleed your particular spin on the rest of us, regardless of our belief system (which, *GASP*, may not adhere to your definition of what is or is not moral), where there is a problem.

    For me, morality is simple. Leave me the heck alone to live my life as I choose, but do not do so at the expense of others. And by the by... the US government, regardless of who sits in the White House, should do nothing except ensure societal neutrality. After all, while the Founders spoke of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", they made NO effort to define what that may mean for any individual. YOU, on the other hand, seem to think that it is YOUR right to do so.

    What a concept.

    February 19, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  20. Anonymous

    Rick Santorum must know to pray for those he deems less christian than he is insstead of trying to be holier than thou at political rallies. More than 90% of American women(and I believe even some of Santorum's friends and neighbors) will, at some point in their lives require use of contraceptive if not for nothing else but to treat some medical problems which Mr Santorum is so stone deaf to comprehend. And yes large number of women including those Mr Santorum sit next to at his church use birth control. Why can't he just ask some women he knows and stop saying trashy things about the president. It is women who will suffer if insurance companies stop covering birth control and it is not going to be Obama, Santorum or any other male. So Santorum, do not take America back and do not treat women this way!

    February 19, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  21. Aardie

    I thought it was Santorum trying to impose his religious views on the rest of the country.

    February 19, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  22. BunnyBunny

    I am so tired of these right wing nut jobs thinking they own Religion/God/Jesus. They thump their Bibles plenty. But they completely ignore Jesus' teachings. Nearly the whole New Testament tells us love one another. Share what you have, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, comfort the afflicted. Bunch of hypocrites.

    February 19, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  23. Thomas

    Rick Santorum's theology as well as Ideology are based on fear.

    Those that act and promote such hypocrisy will feel there own wrath. Only a weak jealous soul would unjustly condemn another. I find it sad that a person can reenact such a doctrine as that of the Spanish inquisition in todays world.

    On Earth as is in Heaven or Heaven as is on Earth ?

    February 19, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  24. Rogue351

    Obama may not hold true to biblical standards and ideologies, but do you as a US citizen really want that ? Rick Santorum also does not hold 100% true to biblical ideologies or standards. If he did the USA may be acting more like the Taliban and Al Qaeda than a nation set on capitalism and the standards of we come first no matter what. Which I would like to add is not by any means a perfect ideology. However, religious fundamentalism is not the answer either. Take a look at the popularity of govements in the middle east at the moment. Obama is leading just left of center. Santorum will lead a great deal further right than Obama has ever swayed left. And typically what I have seen from past administrations leading from the right strips more people of American rights that does leaning to the left does. I want everyone to think of their age and then ask yourself this question. How many years of my life has the USA been involved in military conflict ? The answer for me is far to many. And if you don't think that Santorum more than likely will lead the USA into yet another war in Iran or Syria before Obama would you are sadly mistaken. I am willing to bet that "God" will tell him to do it. And what exactly is the difference between "God" directing George W. Bush or Rick Santorum and "God directing Osama Bin Linden ?

    February 19, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  25. Johne Saseage

    Like usual. Awful amerial politices. YOur country is failing...Sucks for all the good americans..Yes, yes i know..America is #1...We all know...Tell that to Mr Real.........Your counrty is dead....and i dont care if you complain....offer a retort, etc....you all know its true and if you dont....your already dead.

    February 19, 2012 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
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