Sunday, February 26, 2012


Something Rick Santorum said in October made news today:

Former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) on Sunday defended a statement he made last October in which he said that he “almost threw up” when he read John F. Kennedy's 1960 Houston address on the role of religion in public life.

...In remarks last year at the College of Saint Mary Magdalen in Warner, N.H., Santorum had told the crowd of J.F.K.'s famous 1960 address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, "Earlier in my political career, I had the opportunity to read the speech, and I almost threw up. You should read the speech."

...On Sunday, ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked Santorum whether he stood by his statement....

Santorum defended his remarks, telling Stephanopoulos that "the first line, first substantive line in the speech, says, 'I believe in America where the separation of church and state is absolute.'"

"I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute," Santorum said....

Just for the record, he's been attacking that speech for years.


He (Senator Rick Santorum) told NCR that a distinction between private religious conviction and public responsibility, enshrined in John Kennedy's famous speech in 1960 saying he would not take orders from the Catholic church if elected president, has caused "much harm in America."

"All of us have heard people say, 'I privately am against abortion, homosexual marriage, stem cell research, cloning. But who am I to decide that it's not right for somebody else?' It sounds good," Santourm said. "But it is the corruption of freedom of conscience."

Santorum told NCR that he regards George W. Bush as "the first Catholic president of the United States."

September 9, 2010:

"Ultimately Kennedy’s attempt to reassure Protestants that the Catholic Church would not control the government and suborn its independence advanced a philosophy of strict separation that would create a purely secular public square cleansed of all religious wisdom and the voice of religious people of all faiths. He laid the foundation for attacks on religious freedom and freedom of speech by the secular left and its political arms like the A.C.L.U and the People for the American Way. This has and will continue to create dissension and division in this country as people of faith increasingly feel like second-class citizens."

September 17, 2010:

"We are all engaged in a great battle," he told the conservative activists here. Santorum took issue with a famous speech delivered 50 years ago by then-presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, who became the nation's first Catholic president after assuring suspicious voters that "I believe the separation of church and state is absolute."

"That never was and never will be in this country," said Santorum. "Not in this country. Maybe in France."

March 2011:

Rick Santorum told about 50 members of the group Catholic Citizenship that he was "frankly appalled" that America's first Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, once said "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute."

"That was a radical statement," Santorum said, and did "great damage." ...

"We're seeing how Catholic politicians, following the first Catholic president, have followed his lead, and have divorced faith not just from the public square, but from their own decision-making process," Santorum said Monday.

"Jefferson is spinning in his grave," he added.

This needed to be brought up, and Stephanopoulos deserves credit for raising it. Mitt Romney demagogued Stephanopoulos when he asked a debate question about birth control, but Stephanopoulos isn't letting up -- and Romney could be the beneficiary now.

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