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Romney Backer: Santorum Satan Comment Reinforces 'Big Brother' Image

First Posted: 02/22/2012 6:36 pm Updated: 02/23/2012 11:51 am

Rick Santorum was bedeviled for the second day in a row Wednesday by comments he made four years ago about Satan.

"Our presidents in the past have been very clear that they believe in God and Satan and good and evil," Hogan Gidley, a spokesman for Santorum, told The Huffington Post. "It may seem extremely strange to the media, this country was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs. This isn't out of the mainstream. When he believes in God, that isn't news."

Santorum on Tuesday night attempted to move past the comments by telling reporters that they were asking "questions that are not relevant to what's being discussed in America today."

But an unnamed Santorum aide gave the story more oxygen when he was quoted Wednesday by the Washington Examiner's Byron York saying that if Santorum's faith perspective was going to be so closely examined, then Mitt Romney's Mormon faith should also come under the microscope.

"Why is Mormonism off limits?" the Santorum aide said.

A Republican consultant who is supporting Romney said that even if the Santorum campaign may be legitimately upset about a disparity in how its Protestant faith is examined more intensely than others, going after Romney's Mormonism is bad idea.

"People are not about attacking someone's religion," the Republican said. "There's no question it tends to be fair game on evangelical Christians, but that's just the political reality we live in. If they start going after the Mormonism thing, that's going to blow up on them."

And Santorum's original comments, the GOP operative added, are also going to hurt him with voters, because they play into the image of Santorum as someone who is so passionate about social issues and morality that he will meddle in people's personal lives.

"It just reinforces that he wants to be the moral conscience of our country, and nobody's looking for big brother," he said. "And even though I tend to agree with him, people don't want Washington in that role. It's problematic. I think it reinforces that. That's his problem in the fall, and it makes it his problem right now."

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Filed by Jon Ward  |