February 21, 2012
Franklin Graham, Rick Santorum Bring Up Obama's Faith
Graham: 'He has said he’s a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is.'
Franklin Graham has again stirred some backlash over comments about President Obama's faith.
Asked about whether Obama had “accepted Jesus Christ,” Graham said, “I don’t know.”
“You have to ask him. I cannot answer that question for anybody. All I know is I’m a sinner, and God has forgiven me of my sins," said Graham, who is the son of Billy Graham and the CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. "You have to ask every person. He has said he’s a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is.”
When asked if he believes former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is a Christian, Graham said, "I think so" on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "His values are so clear on moral issues. No question about it... I think he's a man of faith." On former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, “Most Christians would not recognize Mormons as part of the Christian faith,” Graham said. Separate from questions about his faith, Graham said, “He would be a good president… He’s a sharp guy.” On former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, he said, "I think Newt is a Christian. At least he told me he is."
White House press secretary Jay Carney said that President Obama has not brought up the questions about his faith.
"I did meet with the president this morning and amazingly he didn't bring this up," Carney said. "He firmly believes that getting an extra $40 in every paycheck is of vastly greater significance to most Americans than someone's opinion expressed on cable television about his personal faith, which again, he has spoken about as explicitly as a few weeks ago," Carney said, referring to Obama's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Santorum said earlier that Obama is guided by "some phony ideal, some phony theology." His choice of words echoed Eric Metaxas's address at the National Prayer Breakfast who decried general "phony religiosity." Santorum said later that he was talking about Obama's connection to environmentalism.