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Paul: Santorum Should Emphasize Liberty, Not Religion Paul: Santorum Should Emphasize Liberty, Not Religion

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

Paul: Santorum Should Emphasize Liberty, Not Religion

Congressman says his campaign message resonates with all faiths.

photo of Lindsey Boerma
March 5, 2012

SANDPOINT, Idaho -- Ron Paul suggested on Monday that personal religion is too large a part of Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign message, and said his own message appeals to people of all faiths.

Asked by a voter during a town hall session at the Bonner County Fairgrounds here why an evangelical Christian would vote for Paul, the Texas congressman told the crowd of about 1,000: “The same reason everybody else should vote for liberty.”

Based on that answer, reporters asked Paul after the event whether he believes Santorum, known for his religiously motivated social-conservative stands, relies too heavily on his faith to carry his message.

 

“Well, I think so,” Paul said, “because I would think that, you know, [other candidates] think that you have to have a special-interest group; how do you satisfy this special-interest group? And then you have to do it at the expense of the other special-interest group. And my answer, which I tried to point out, is freedom shouldn’t be that way.

“If you’re evangelical Christian, you should welcome liberty just like a Catholic or a Jew or a Mormon or anybody else, because it’s the same principle,” he continued. “It shouldn’t be something special or different.”

Heading into Super Tuesday, which he will spend campaigning in Idaho and North Dakota, Paul said he expects to be able to sustain his presidential bid despite not having won a primary state because he’s managed to avoid the roller-coaster poll numbers of some of his rivals. He added that he has “a very good chance” of winning Idaho.

He also suggested that the former Pennsylvania senator’s moment in the sun could be almost up.

“I just have to keep going, and that’s one thing I have done,” he said. “The other candidates you’ve seen, they come on the scenes, they blip up, they’re in the lead, and then they crash. And a bunch of them have done that. And I think it looks like Newt [Gingrich] has done it maybe twice, and I think that can certainly happen to Santorum. In contrast, we have steady growth.”

 

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