February 20, 2012 in Nation/World

Santorum clarifies comments on Obama

Mitchell Landsberg Tribune Washington bureau
 

WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum denied Sunday that he has questioned President Barack Obama’s Christian faith, but said the president holds an environmental belief “that elevates the Earth above man.”

Santorum was quoted Saturday as telling an audience in Ohio that although he accepts the president’s Christianity, he believes Obama adheres to “some phony theology. Not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology.”

Asked about that statement Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Santorum framed the issue as a disagreement over global warming and how “radical environmentalists” care for the Earth.

“I accept the fact that the president’s a Christian,” he said. “I just said that when you have a worldview that elevates the Earth above man, and says that, you know, we can’t take those resources because we’re going to harm the Earth by things that frankly are just not scientifically proven, like for example that politicization of the whole global warming debate, this is just all an attempt to centralize power, to give more power to the government.”

He added: “I’m talking about the belief that man should be in charge of the Earth and should have dominion over it and should be good stewards of it.”

An Obama campaign adviser told ABC’s “This Week” that the Republican candidate went “well over the line” in his comments about the president’s theology. Robert Gibbs, a former White House spokesman, said it was time “to get rid of this mindset in our politics that, if we disagree, we have to question character and faith.”


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