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Rick Santorum Slammed By Jewish Groups For 'Jesus Candidate' Remarks

Posted: 01/07/2012 4:39 pm

The Jerusalem Post reported Saturday that a diverse array of Jewish and pro-Israeli organizations have come out in opposition to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's recent assertion that America needs a "Jesus candidate."

Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman told The Jerusalem Post that Santorum's remarks were "totally inappropriate. It's crossing the line."

"It says to Jews, to Muslims, to Buddhists, to non-believers, you're not part of this country," he added.

"I think the average Jew hears it as religiously exclusionist," National Jewish Democratic Council president David Harris said, though he added that he didn't think Santorum had meant it that way.

"It helps remind American Jews of the yawning gap between them and today's Republican Party," continued Harris, whose partisan organization backs US President Barack Obama.

At a campaign event in New Hampshire Thursday evening, Santorum described an interview he had on a Boston radio program earlier that day, when he was asked whether the nation needs an "economic guy" more than a "Jesus guy." America "always needs a Jesus candidate," Santorum told the audience.

The National Jewish Democratic Council released a separate statement condemning the remarks, but opted to focus on Santorum's apparent prioritization of social issues over economic ones.

This latest comment from Santorum is unsurprising given his frequent focus on right-wing "values" issues. However, it does imply that as president Santorum would -- like his colleagues in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives -- spend the bulk of his time pursuing conservative social policies instead of working to create jobs.

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