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January 7th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Reversing JFK: Santorum’s bid to marry faith and politics

Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series of stories looking at the faith of the leading 2012 presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. We also profiled the faith journey of Herman Cain before he suspended his campaign.

By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors

(CNN) - It was election night in November 2006, and Rick Santorum had organized a private Catholic Mass in a room at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh. The senator from Pennsylvania had just lost his re-election bid.

The Mass, held just before his concession speech, included a priest and Santorum’s close family and staff. Though the occasion was somber, the soon-to-be-ex-senator aimed for a celebratory mood, said Mark Rodgers, then a top Santorum aide.

“Life is if full of what can be perceived as disappointments or hardships,” Rodgers said, “but Scripture tells followers of Jesus that we approach those situations with joy because there’s ultimate redemption.”

Santorum’s younger brother, Dan, remembers that many attendees - including the senator’s children - were weeping over Santorum’s landslide defeat at the hands of Democrat Bob Casey Jr.

But not the senator.

“You’d think he would have been crushed,” says Dan Santorum. “But he wasn’t even bitter. He didn’t complain. He just said it was God’s plan.

“That’s when I knew he was going to run for president of the United States,” Dan continued. “Because I think that God had another plan for him.”

It’s unclear if Rick Santorum, whose strong finish in the Iowa caucuses has breathed new life into his presidential campaign, interpreted his Senate loss the same way.

Santorum concedes his Senate seat in 2006.

But the hotel Mass, and Santorum’s apparent placidity in the face of an overwhelming defeat, illustrate what confidants say is the key to understanding him as a person and politician: a devout Catholic faith that has deepened dramatically through political and personal battles.

“When I first met him he was an observant Catholic but a fairly privatized one,” says Rodgers, who ran Santorum’s first race for the U.S. House in 1990 and served as a key Santorum aide in Congress for 16 years.

“The journey I saw him on was a gradual awakening to the importance of faith at an operational level within a democracy, the idea that free people need to have a moral foundation.

“The journey was also personal - growing in faith and sharing it with others,” Rodgers says.

Many politicians have ideological concerns about issues like abortion or gay marriage, but “in Santorum’s case, it’s fundamentally religious,” says Richard Land, public policy chief at the Southern Baptist Convention. “That’s the genetic code of his life.”

It’s also the part that most inspires his political backers - among them the Iowa evangelicals who helped fuel his stunning Iowa finish, eight votes behind winner Mitt Romney - and most enrages critics, who take deep offense at Santorum’s views on divisive issues like homosexuality, which he once lumped together with bestiality in a discussion of legal rights.

“I think it’s fair to say that he’s sometimes harsh in the way he makes those arguments,” says Michael Gerson, a speechwriter for former President George W. Bush.

Indeed, even Santorum’s own party is seeing a faith-based split around his presidential campaign, with evangelicals who dominate the primaries in states like Iowa on one side and more establishment Republicans in states like New Hampshire on the other.

As he works to convince skeptical voters he has a real shot at winning the White House, Santorum’s religious faith has emerged as both his chief political asset and his biggest liability.

Kennedy's ‘sealed off’ wall

His Catholicism may have deepened as an adult, but Santorum also has deep Catholic roots.

“Three pictures hung in the home of my devoutly Catholic immigrant grandparents when I was a boy,” he said in a speech last year. “I remember them well: Jesus, Pope Paul VI and John F. Kennedy.”

Santorum attended Mass with his brother, sister and parents virtually every Sunday. “You basically had to be on your deathbed not to go to church,” says Dan Santorum.

Both parents worked in a VA hospital in Butler, Pennsylvania. As teenagers, Rick and Dan would push the wheelchairs of patients to Sunday Mass in the hospital’s interfaith chapel. Rick would serve the Mass as an altar boy, wheel patients up to receive Holy Communion, then help his brother wheel them back to their hospital rooms.

Other than that, it was a conventional American Catholic upbringing in the 1960s and ’70s: The Santorums said grace before meals, sent their kids to Catholic grade school and spent absolutely no time discussing how religion influenced their public policy views.

American Catholics at the time were living in the shadow of John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech in which he insisted that neither his faith nor his church would have any influence on his presidency.

Santorum would spend his political life trying to reverse the effects of Kennedy’s pledge. He argued that Kennedy “sealed off informed moral wisdom into a realm of non-rational beliefs that have no legitimate role in political discourse.”

During college and law school at Penn State, Santorum wasn’t especially observant; neither did his religious faith factor much into his political views.

After college he served as an aide to Doyle Corman, a moderate Republican state senator in Pennsylvania. Religion seldom came up.

“My husband and I are both pro-choice,” Corman’s wife, Becky, told The New York Times in 2006. “One of the interesting things about Rick is, the whole time he worked for us, we didn't know what his views were on that issue.”

Dan Santorum says a turning point in his brother’s faith life was his marriage to Karen Garver. They met in the 1980s while Karen was studying law at the University of Pittsburgh and Santorum was recruiting law students for the Pittsburgh firm where he worked.

“There was just a bond between them,” Dan says. “Part of that was that they shared their faith.”

That bond was on display last Tuesday during Santorum’s speech after the Iowa caucuses.

“C.S. Lewis said, ‘A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you’ve forgotten the words.’ My best friend, my life mate, who sings that song when I forget the words, is my wife, Karen,” Santorum said before embracing her in a long hug.

Santorum bows his head in prayer during an Iowa campaign rally in January.

Sometime after arriving in Washington following his 1990 House victory, Santorum began attending daily Mass before work.

The Rev. Eugene Hemrick, who frequently leads Mass at 130-year-old St. Joseph’s on Capitol Hill, says Santorum led Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback - who served with Santorum in Congress in the 1990s and 2000s - to the church.

“Santorum was always dressed up,” Hemrick remembers. “Brownback was in sweats a lot from running.”

The evangelical Brownback wound up converting to Catholicism, and the two were often joined in the pews by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

“When you know these people are out there, you do a little more homework before you preach,” Hemrick said of his high-profile flock. “You try to make it a little more meaningful to them.”

Moral codes and absolutes

The 1990 GOP freshman class, a small group that managed to win in a poor year for Republicans nationally, took a confident line in airing grievances to congressional and party leaders.

Santorum was part of the freshman “Gang of Seven” that exposed the House banking scandal, and he kept up his penchant for bold, against-the-grain gambits after his election to the Senate as part of the 1994 Republican Revolution.

Soon he was taking aim at the overriding culture-war issue of our time: abortion.

Santorum helped lead the effort to impose the first federal restrictions on abortion that could survive court challenges since Roe. v. Wade - a ban on the procedure critics call partial-birth abortion.

Faith and politics may have been separate in Santorum’s childhood home and the homes of other American Catholics at the time, but by the 1990s abortion had become the symbol for the infusion of conservative faith into American politics. The issue forged a powerful political alliance between conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants.

On the wall of his Senate office, Santorum kept a picture of William Wilberforce, the British parliamentarian whose evangelical faith stirred him to lead the campaign that ultimately ended the British slave trade in 1807.

The senator saw his campaign for the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act as his “Wilberforcean effort,” says Rodgers, now a senior adviser to Santorum’s presidential campaign.

Santorum’s comfort with using his faith to shape his politics was partly a reflection of Catholic intellectuals he had met since arriving in the capital, including Richard John Neuhaus, a priest who edited the Catholic journal First Things, and George Wiegel, a theologian.

For Santorum, such figures and books by Catholic writers like St. Augustine instilled the sense that free societies need citizens who are governed by strong moral codes.

“How is it possible, I wonder, to believe in the existence of God yet refuse to express outrage when His moral code is flouted?” Santorum said in a ’90s-era speech at the Heritage Foundation. “To have faith in God, but to reject moral absolutes?”

For Santorum, legalized abortion represented the ultimate flouting of that code.

The Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act passed Congress in 1995, but President Bill Clinton vetoed it the following year. Santorum led a failed Senate effort to override the veto and helped revive the bill after the election of President George W. Bush, who signed it into law.

Such campaigns helped make Santorum a national hero to the anti-abortion movement and a bogeyman for abortion rights supporters.

“On the morning after the Iowa caucuses, there were millions of pro-life voters who woke up pinching themselves that one of their very own had emerged at the top rank of candidates, making sure it wasn’t a dream,” said the Southern Baptist Convention’s Land.

Around the time of the Clinton veto, Rick and Karen Santorum confronted a tragedy that added flesh-and-bone experience to their anti-abortion stance, which had up until then been intellectual and religious.

By that time, the Santorums had three children. While pregnant with her fourth, doctors told Karen her fetus had a fatal birth defect. In his 2005 book “It Takes a Family,” Santorum writes about Karen turning down the option to have an abortion.

“Karen and I couldn’t rationalize how we could treat this little human life at 20 weeks’ gestation in the womb any different than one 20 weeks old after birth,” Santorum writes. “So instead of giving our child a death sentence, we gave him a name: Gabriel Michael, after the two great archangels.”

The premature baby died two hours after birth. The next day, in a move that has widened the public opinion gap over Santorum, he and his wife took the dead body home so their children could spend time with it before burial.

“Gabriel died as a cherished member of our family,” Santorum writes in “It Takes a Family.”

Karen captured the episode in a 1998 book, “Letters to Gabriel,” describing to her late child the reaction of one of his sisters: “Elizabeth proudly announced to everyone as she cuddled you, ‘This is my baby brother, Gabriel; he is an angel.’”

For Santorum, who now has seven kids, holding Gabriel was a lesson about the fragility of human life.

Santorum, wife Karen, and his seven children.

“At that moment, eternity became reality,” Santorum writes. “After Gabriel, being a husband and father was different, being a legislator was different. I was different.”

Conservatism and the common good

Santorum has received a glut of media attention for how his religion shaped his culture-war stances, but allies say his faith has made him a compassionate conservative.

As a senator, Santorum was known for his work on poverty and combating HIV/AIDS. He says such efforts are rooted in the Catholic notion of working for the “common good.”

“Just as original sin is man’s inclination to try to walk alone without God,” Santorum writes in “It Takes a Family,” “individualism is man’s inclination to try to walk alone among his fellows.”

Santorum and those close to him say that impulse motivated his work on welfare reform during the mid-1990s.

Many conservatives “would have taken a fairly harsh view of welfare reform as a waste of taxpayer dollars,” says Rodgers. “Rick’s view was that publicly funded programs are justified when it’s for the least of these, which comes from Catholic social teaching.

“There’s a compassionate side of the Catholic faith that says you prioritize the poor in public policy, and there’s also the side that says work should be a component of that care, that not working strips you of your dignity.”

Santorum championed welfare-to-work programs in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act that Clinton signed, as well as the idea of charitable choice, which gave states the ability to partner with religious institutions to address social problems like poverty and addiction.

Success on welfare reform provoked Santorum and a handful of other religious Republicans in Congress to begin discussing conservative solutions to poverty and other social problems that had mostly been the province of liberals.

Among the participants in those sessions was Gerson, who would join Bush in Texas as a speechwriter in the run-up to his 2000 presidential campaign and bring some of the ideas of the congressional group with him.

One was a plan to start a federal program to help level the playing field for religious groups applying for government money to address social problems.

For Santorum, employing faith groups in such a campaign was partially grounded in the Catholic idea of subsidiarity, which calls for addressing problems closest to where they are. In many troubled communities, the thinking goes, the strongest local institutions are churches, ministries and other religious organizations.

The notion of outsourcing government programs to religious institutions also appealed to Santorum’s beliefs about government’s limits.

“The problems currently afflicting us reflect an impoverishment of the soul more than the pocketbook,” Santorum has said, quoting conservative education scholar Chester Finn. “Government is simply not equipped to address problems of the soul.”

The idea for a government faith-based program had critics on the left and right, who feared government-backed religion and a welfare system for churches.

“A lot of people have a hard time getting Rick Santorum because they’re used to a debate between liberalism and complete free market approach and he’s not either of those things,” says Gerson, now a Washington Post columnist.

Bush created the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships via an executive order days after his 2001 inauguration. Santorum helped organize a conference to tell religious leaders from across the country about the new program.

“It was on that day that I decided to swallow my constitutional concerns about it,” says Richard Land, who attended the conference despite reservations.

“Seventy-five percent of the people attending the conference were either African-American or Hispanic,” Land says. “They wanted people who lived where the problems were making decisions about what should be done. They were in a lifeboat situation.”

Santorum was also a key Bush ally in creating the president's $15 billion global AIDS initiative, with the senator’s staff sometimes lending office space to rock singer Bono while he was lobbying for the program on Capitol Hill.

President Barack Obama has continued support for both the faith-based office and the global AIDS initiative. The programs are evidence that Santorum can be more than a culture warrior, and their staying power suggests he's gone a long way breaking through JFK’s sealed-off wall between religion and politics.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Politics • Rick Santorum

soundoff (2,874 Responses)
  1. wrench

    I would like to ask Rick. If he had his way and abortion was made illegal how will the American tax payer fund the additional 1.3 million plus babies born in the US each year?

    January 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • jim atmadison

      Tax cuts, dammit. You should know that by now. Tax cuts fix everything.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • jim atmadison

      I'd like to amend by earlier response. I meant tax cuts for 1%ers and corporations, of course.

      Tax cuts for the middle class and below are budget-busters that need to be fought against at every turn.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Grasshopper

      Just more minimum wage bodies for the sweat shops.
      Remember you are just cattle to the rich.

      January 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  2. jorn

    faith belongs in homes and your heart not in politics.

    freedom of religion, hello?

    January 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  3. PS

    I'm a staunch Catholic, and even I'm saying whoa – no, no, no! The First Amendment specifically declares separation of church and state – and for good reason. Santorum may be the same faith as me but how he interprets and uses it could be as different from the way I do as night and day... and the way he does it, from what I'm hearing of him so far, would not be productive or healthy for this country.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • jorn

      great point.

      you cant enforce religion/faith.
      is this not what started america?
      arent we battling religous extremists as we speak?

      January 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Mary

      Read the amendment – it means that the government cannot declare one religion for our country – we have freedom of religion in this country unlike our British friends when our country was founded. The media has totally distorted what the first amendment says. We need to reteach our country. Those that fear religion are the ones we should fear most. Religion places values on our country – thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not commit adultery. Santorem wants to bring back the values our founding Fathers had when our country was created. Big business and big government have taken away our rights. God Bless America.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  4. MK

    Our country needs less bigots and more clear-thinking atheists in office. Too bad most politicians are afraid to walk that line.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • wrench

      Here Here great comment!!!! How true it is!

      January 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  5. Nicoli Pi

    Our founding fathers would be disgusted.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  6. Hello

    so the blind faith nuts want to elect a christian Taliban as our leader.... didn't we learn a bad enough lesson from BUSH?

    January 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Grog Says

      Grog says another village idiot got loose.
      Need better rope.

      January 8, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  7. aug

    really hard not to find flaws with all these guys....a mccain aid called ricky the dumbest person in congress when he was there

    January 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • jim atmadison

      I find that hard to believe considering that Louie Gohmert and Steve King were around. Of course, they were in the House.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  8. Joseph

    We as a country need to unite and move away from organized religion such as Christianity. It is 2012 and we need to grow up, educate ourselves, and protect our children from these primitive belief systems, not promote them. Christianity is a man made invention/myth......99.9% of Christians don't seem to realize that most of the stories of the Bible were added in decades and centuries later, added, embelished, forged,...etc.....NO ONE considered him the son of God (which is a ridiculous notion)...until they made that up centuries later........ It is truly a childish and primitive view of God and reality.....for Santorum not to know this in this day and age is pathetic and dangerous for our country.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Hello

      AGREE.. Read Caesar's Messiah.

      http://caesarsmessiahdoc.com/Radio/radio.html?utm_source=Caesar%27s+Messiah+List&utm_campaign=6ca09a7fb4-NewYear2012&utm_medium=email

      January 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • cigarlover6

      Agreed, also add the Islamists in the list. Both these 2 religions are making this world dangerous to live. Having doubts, look around you and everywhere else in the world.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  9. America Is Not A Christian nation

    Democrat Keith Ellison is now officially the first Muslim United States congressman. True to his pledge, he placed his hand on the Quran, the Muslim book of jihad and pledged his allegiance to the United States during his ceremonial swearing-in.

    Capitol Hill staff said Ellison's swearing-in photo opportunity drew more media than they had ever seen in the history of the U.S. House. Ellison represents the 5th Congressional District of Minnesota.

    The Quran Ellison used was no ordinary book. It once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and one of America's founding fathers. Ellison borrowed it from the Rare Book Section of the Library of Congress. It was one of the 6,500 Jefferson books archived in the library.

    Ellison, who was born in Detroit and converted to Islam while in college, said he chose to use Jefferson's Quran because it showed that "a visionary like Jefferson" believed that wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Hello

      wisdom like.... women are the property of men. and all muzzys MUST cut the heads of non believers of is-zhit

      January 8, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • cigarlover6

      As I said above, these 2 religions are making this world dangerous to live in. Look around you and everywhere else in the world, their fanaticism.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • nolongerdem

      During the Jefferson administration, the Muslim Barbary States, crumbling as a result of intense American naval bombardment and on shore raids by Marines, finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy.

      Jefferson's victory over the Muslims lives on today in the Marine Hymn, with the line, "From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli, We fight our country's battles in the air, on land and sea."
      It wasn't until 1815 that the problem was fully settled by the total defeat of all the Muslim slave trading pirates.
      Jefferson had been right. The "medium of war" was the only way to put and end to the Muslim problem. Mr. Ellison was right about Jefferson. He was a "visionary" wise enough to read and learn about the enemy from their own Muslim book of jihad. I also own a copy of the koran and it is certainly NOT because I respect this 'religion'.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  10. DaveInPA

    What's wrong is that Santorum wants to LEGISLATE his personal religious beliefs and force these beliefs on everyone.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Hello

      BUSHism 3.0

      January 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  11. Mark

    Religion and politics mutually corrupt each other. One of the biggest problems in Muslim countries is divisions with in their own faith that spills over into their politics with violent results. I'm not particularly religious, but if Santorum ever became president, I would suspect him of being the antichrist.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  12. Phillip Bunnell

    John F. Kennedy was a Catholic. He however, didn't try to ram it down your throat.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • dubrats

      um i believe it's the media ramming down our throats.....

      January 8, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Hello

      thats because he was too busy ramming his ==> up Marilyn.....

      January 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Simon Says

      Just Marilyn Monroes (chuckle)

      January 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Dino Droppings

      *** dubrats

      um i believe it's the media ramming down our throats.....

      I never understood why people are always blaming the media ?
      I want them to report everything and i will decide what to believe.
      I dont even mind when they attack my political beliefs, because
      i want to find out the truth.
      I dont consider it being shoved down my throat,
      as i will choose what to read and what not to read.
      Seems to me all of this started when Sarah Palin started
      beltching about gotcha questions from the media.
      The same media that has made her rich and famous.
      Now all of her (and Tea Party) followers do the same.
      The media is not your enemy, your brain is.

      January 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  13. Joe

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.....

    January 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • jim atmadison

      The 'heathens' that the Spaniards tortured may or may not have expected it, but it happened anyway.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • jim atmadison

      The 'heathens' that the Spaniards tortured and killed may or may not have expected it, but it happened anyway.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  14. Hello

    And when did our government become a theocracy? Here we go again.. The religious party trying to take the government away from the people and put in the pope's hands.
    There are no gods... we lead leaders not preachers....to run our government. leave the witch doctors in the churches. no white house.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    I thought Republicans were all about trying to find Reagan incarnate?

    Newsflash: Reagan never wore his faith on his sleeve and would be appalled by the antics of theocrats like Santorum.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • jim atmadison

      ...and Reagan also raised taxes, despite what Eric Cantor's handler tells Eric to think. But that's another story.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Nicoli Pi

      how true!

      January 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  16. JacquesSolomon

    So where's the uproar when this guy wants to "marry religion and faith" ? What a shame! And we keep trashing other countries about them not having separation of church and politics. We are really showing ourselves to be hyprocites.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • jim atmadison

      If you read the posts on this article, there's a lot of uproar, much of it from Christians such as myself.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  17. jeff Lebowski

    This guy gives Jebus a bad name.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Hello

      Bible study like you never imagined

      Caesar's Messiah

      http://caesarsmessiahdoc.com/Radio/radio.html?utm_source=Caesar%27s+Messiah+List&utm_campaign=6ca09a7fb4-NewYear2012&utm_medium=email

      January 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  18. joshu

    Please people, don't assume all christians are as crazy as Santorum. I'm christian and I will move to another country if this guy wins the election.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Mike

      Seems like a perfectly reasonable assumption to me. How's your snake-talking going today? Tried it on a rattler yet?

      January 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • joshu

      Christianity in its purest form is about love, peace, and understanding. I hate how people like Santorum use it as a crutch and linchpin. I'll also put it this way too, I support abortion, birth control, and gay marriage. Why "Love thy neighbor"

      January 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Bob

      joshu, and don't forget that pure animal sacrifice that Christian god commands you to do, and often, or he'll torture you forever. Yes, Jesus said the OT laws still apply, every letter, so sharpen your knife, get your altar blaze going, and get on that goat now.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Be free of religion in 2012.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      January 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Dom

      Agreed. By definition ALL blind faith followers are nuts. It's cute when children have an imaginary friend that they idolize, in adults, we call that schizophrenia.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • cigarlover6

      A crazy trying to defend another crazy... hey look... why aren't listening to me... boo hoo

      January 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Grog Says

      Adam phoned up Eve and ask her for date in garden.
      After they hung up, Ever realised she had nothing to wear,
      ha ha ha ha ha....

      Sorry Joshu.
      Bad Grog.

      January 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Doobie Wah

      The part of the bible that realy gives me cold shivers is that,
      if you believe the Adam & Eve story, all of mankind is from incest.

      January 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  19. commentator

    well at least now, if he stays in it, he has over 9 months to prepare his concession speech and his family for the inevitable.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  20. JACK

    LOOK LIKE THEY PRAY BUT MIND THINKING HOW I CAN BE PRESIDENT AND TAKE ALL CORRUPTED MONEY AT HOME AND ENJOYED MY LIFE.. AMERICA NEED NEW ANTI CORRUPTION PARTY WHICH CAN HONEST AND TAKING CARE OF PEOPLE LIVING IN SIMPLE HOUSE AND UNTIL AMERICAN PEOPLE GET ON HIS OR HER FEET HE NEVER TAKING MORE THAN 70000 SALARY PER YEAR. INDIA HAVE ANN HAZARE AMERICA HAVE MARTIN LUTHER KING TYPE PERSON TAKE LEAD FOR ANTI CORRUPTION AND LOKPAL IN AMERICA

    January 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Less than an hour to football

      Jack:
      The CAPSLOCK key is next to the 'A' please turn it off and stop yelling....

      January 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Mike

      People who post in all-caps are stupid.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • jim atmadison

      If you have to shout, your message sucks. That's why I never read CAPS LOCK posts.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Hello

      caplock people.. think that by typing in all caps it is easier to READ. they are wrong it is harder to read.
      So I don't..

      people will listen more closely to a whisper then yelling.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Insanity Is Bad

      Why are you screaming ?

      January 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.