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Santorum: Obama 'elevates Earth above man'

Feb. 20, 2012 at 6:44 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said President Barack Obama subscribes to a theological worldview that "elevates the Earth above man."

The former senator from Pennsylvania -- who told an Ohio audience Saturday he believed Obama adhered to "some phony theology; oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology" -- explained to the CBS News program "Face the Nation" Sunday he was talking about Obama's theological worldview.

"I wasn't suggesting the president's not a Christian. I accept the fact that the president is a Christian," Santorum 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 -- for example, that politicization of the whole global-warming debate -- I mean, this is just all an attempt to centralize power and to give more power to the government," he said.

"I'm talking about, you know, the belief that man should be in charge of the Earth and should have dominion over it and should be good stewards of it."

Obama re-election adviser Robert Gibbs, a former White House spokesman, said Santorum's comments about Obama's theology went "well over the line."

"It's wrong. It's destructive," Gibbs told the ABC News program "This Week."

"It's time to get rid of this," he said. "It's time to have a debate on our political positions, but not question each other's character and faith."

Santorum faced political and media criticism last month after he failed to correct a woman in Florida who told him Obama was "an avowed Muslim." He later told CNN it wasn't his job to correct such assertions.

In the 2008 presidential campaign, GOP candidate John McCain took back the microphone from a woman at one of his rallies who asserted Obama was "an Arab." McCain corrected the woman.

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's Arizona campaign co-chairman resigned from the campaign after acknowledging he was gay and had a relationship with an undocumented Mexican immigrant.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu denied he threatened to have the immigrant, a former campaign volunteer, deported if he made their former relationship public.

The allegations were first published Friday in the alternative weekly Phoenix New Times.

The immigrant, identified only by his first name, Jose, provided a photo that Phoenix New Times published of the two men embracing.

Babeu, a first-term sheriff who has gained widespread attention with his strong opposition to illegal immigration, said the accusations were an attempt to hurt his political career.

He vowed Saturday to continue his bid for the GOP nomination in Arizona's newly redrawn 4th congressional district, which currently includes part of Phoenix and some suburbs and has significant populations of highly conservative Republicans and evangelical Christians.

The district is now represented by Democrat Ed Pastor, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said Sunday losing his home state of Georgia in the March 6 Super Tuesday primaries would "very, very badly" weaken his candidacy.

But Gingrich refused to say if he would drop out if he failed to win Georgia.

"Given the chaos of this race, I'm not willing to say anything," Gingrich told "Fox News Sunday." "But I'm certainly willing to say I think it's extraordinarily important to carry your home state. And also has an underlying impact if you don't."

The former House speaker said if either of his chief rivals for the Republican nomination lose their home states -- Romney in Michigan and Santorum in Pennsylvania -- they would also be "badly, badly weakened."

Super Tuesday involves contests in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.

Presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday he considered Romney to have the best "management style" of his three remaining GOP rivals.

"But as far as issues go, I'm uncomfortable with all three of them," he said. "I think they are the status quo and they are not change -- they don't want to really change anything. That's what I'm offering."

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