ADL slams Santorum for 'Jesus' comment

US Republican presidential candidate criticized as "religiously exclusionist" for saying, "We always need a Jesus candidate."

By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JPOST CORRESPONDENT
January 7, 2012 18:37
1 minute read.
Republican candidate Rick Santorum

rick santorum constipated 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

BOSTON – Jewish groups slammed Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Friday for telling listeners of a Boston radio show that “we always need a Jesus guy” in the campaign.

Santorum, formerly a Pennsylvania senator and the second-place winner of the Iowa caucus, made the remark Thursday after being asked about a listener’s comment that “we don’t need a Jesus guy this election. We need an economics guy this election.”

RELATED:
Analysis: Ron Paul leaves a big impact
Analysis: Romney struggling to attract evangelicals
Santorum says he would bomb Iran facilities


Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Santorum continued, “Do you stand up and say, ‘God bless America?’ Do you mean it? Are you just saying it? The idea that we don’t need someone with a moral compass, is that what we’ve come to? Is that what the Republican party is? No, it isn’t.”

The candidate, who then went on to campaign in New Hampshire, which will hold its first-in-the-nation primary on Tuesday, reportedly repeated the conversation later in the day, relating that he had said, “We always need 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.

But Foxman pointed out that Democrats had also invoked Jesus in their campaigns in past elections, and noted Santorum has not been the only candidate in this election cycle to bring Christianity into the public conversation.

The Santorum campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

However, at a later event, he reportedly clarified his statement.

“I said we always need a Jesus candidate,” he was quoted as saying. “I don’t mean necessarily that we always need a Christian, but we need someone who believes in something more than themselves.”

Related Content

U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russian President Vladimir Putin
July 20, 2018
Trump invites Putin to Washington despite U.S. uproar over Helsinki summit

By REUTERS