Santorum Criticizes Obama Over 'Phony Theology' Not Based on the Bible

Yahoo Contributor Network

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum took aim at the approach to religion of President Barack Obama during a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday. Reuters quoted Santorum as saying the president's political and social policies are being shaped by what he termed a "different theology."

Santorum has surged in the polls in recent weeks. A Gallup Tracker survey released Friday shows him pulling ahead of the other GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, 35 percent to 29 percent among likely voters.

What did Santorum say Obama's "different theology" was?

Santorum did not explicitly claim President Obama was of any particular religion. Reuters quoted him as saying the president's approach to politics and social issues was part of a "phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology."

Did Santorum retract the remarks?

The New York Times quoted him as responding to reporters' questions about his comments with the statement that "if the president says he's a Christian, he's a Christian."

But Santorum clarified the "phony theology" statements by asserting there were many forms of Christianity. He went on to explain he did not believe Obama is necessarily following Christian values or the Bible in making his policies, but rather he is "imposing his values on the church."

Did President Obama's campaign respond?

The Washington Post quoted President Obama's campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt, who referred to Santorum's comments as "just the latest low in a Republican primary campaign that has been fueled by distortions, ugliness and searing pessimism and negativity."

Santorum was quick to respond to LaBolt's comments. The Washington Post quoted as saying "The president has reached a new low in this country's history of oppressing religious freedom that we have never seen before."

How are President Obama and Santorum polling against each other?

Santorum is polling comparably to Mitt Romney against the president. Rasmussen Reports released its latest survey of likely voters Saturday. In that poll, if the election were held this week, President Obama would win a second term over Santorum, 48 percent to 40 percent.

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