Santorum Spins – Late

So, yesterday afternoon and into the night, our little post on Santorum’s lack of theological generosity created quite the Twitter storm.   Lowell ended up in tweet conversations with several big media folks and we got quoted in places that humility forbids me from linking to.  (See note below.)  Santorum had to respond.

He did so by laying more quotes and context from his comments at the door of Politico’s Burns & Haberman who dutifully posted several hours later and then a late night emailing to at least some of his supporters reprinting the piece.  We are on the Santorum mailing list, but it did not come to us; it was forwarded by a friend.  Here’s the meat:

When reporters questioned what he meant later, Santorum stood by the comments.

“The Catholic church has a theology that says this is wrong, and he’s saying no I’ve got a different, I’ve got a different – you may want to call it a theology, you may want to call it secular values, whatever you want to call it, it’s a different moral values. And the president of the United States is exercising his values and trumping the values of the church.”

He added, “If you don’t want to call it a theology, I’m fine, you can have them let me know what they want to call it, but 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, and that’s not a new low. That’s a reflection of exactly what….it is a new low. I should go back, it is a new low. The president has reached a new low in this country’s history of opressing religious freedom that we have never seen before. If he doesn’t want to call his imposition of his values a theology that’s fine, but it is an imposition of his values over a church who has very clear theological reasons for opposing what the Obama administration is forcing on them.”

And then, “He is imposing his values on a church that has theological reasons for, and moral reasons for not allowing this type of care to be given through their institutions.”

So, let me summarize the Santorum spin on these comments.  One, he was confused about  the words “theology” and “moral values.”  Secondly, he was really trying to make a point about the HHS ruling (“oppressing religious freedom”) not attack Obama on theological grounds.  I can see this.  A devout Roman Catholic, confronted with an Evangelical audience, might stumble over “Evangospeak,” the word he was probably wanting is “worldview.”  But still….

OK – now, in our original piece we noted several other “misspeaks.”  You know, the one where he declared denominational Protestants such as myself, “gone from the world of Christianity.”  Or very his tepid declaration of no religious beef with Romney.  See where I am going here?

Two points to make.  Frequent misspeaks of this type often indicate where a person is in their head, even if they are not saying it.  Of course, we’ll never know what is going on in Sanotrum’s head, but he has all the signs of having to keep himself on a very tight leash religiously.

Secondly, it is precisely misspeaking that makes him a general election loser.  As I said in the original piece yesterday:

Santorum’s past is full of stuff like the latter – just overflowing with it, really.  He may not be as big an jerk as Gingrich, but he is still an oppo researcher’s dream.  He’ll be explaining out of context comments for the rest of the campaign.  Which means the left is defining the discussion, not us – which means we lose.

Despite this gross misstep, I like Rick Santorum.  I’d love to have a long conversation with him over many things – buy him dinner and a drink if he is so inclined.  But I most decidedly do not want him as my candidate for POTUS – I want, no I NEED – THE COUNTRY NEEDS – us to win.

John notes: We have been picked up by a lot of left leaning places and they are quoting me from the original piece left and right:

Page 1 of 2 | Next page

Share