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Santorum: Liberals ‘are the anti-science ones’

By David Edwards
Monday, February 20, 2012 12:59 EDT
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Rick Santorum speaks in Steubenville, Ohio
 
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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum charged on Monday that President Barack Obama and Democrats were “anti-science” because they refused to exploit the Earth’s natural resources to the limits of technology.

Over the weekend the candidate had been criticized for saying that President Barack Obama followed a theology that was not “based on the Bible.” He later insisted that he was talking about the president siding with “radical environmentalists.”

“I accept the fact that the president’s a Christian,” Santorum told CBS host Bob Schieffer on Sunday. “I just said when you have world view that elevates the Earth above man and says that we can’t take those resources because we’re going to harm the Earth — like things that are not scientifically proven like the politicization of the whole global warming debate.”

The candidate returned to the subject again on Monday at a rally in Steubenville, Ohio.

“But if we don’t provide those opportunities for those jobs that can sustain a family, for power in this country that is affordable, not just coal but all energy,” Santorum told a crowd of supporters at Froehlich’s Classic Corner restaurant. “It drove the economy of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio for a long time. And through a variety of things — yes, problems with management, problems with negotiations — but actually there were bigger problems. The bigger problems of environmental regulation. In many cases environmental regulation that has gone extreme, particularly in this administration.”

“What they have done? And I referred to it the other day and I got criticized by some of our, well, less-than-erudite members of the national press corps who have a difficulty understanding when you refer to someone’s ideology to the point where they elevate Earth, and they say that, well, men and humanity is just of a variety of different species on the Earth and should be treated no differently.”

He continued: “Whereas, we all know that man has a responsibility of stewards of the Earth, that we are good stewards and we have a responsibility to be good stewards. Why? Because unlike the Earth, we’re intelligent and we can actually manage things.”

“It’s so funny that this party that criticizes the right for being anti-science, but when it comes to the management of the Earth, they are the anti-science ones!” the candidate declared. “We’re the ones who stand for science and technology and using the resources we have to make sure we have a quality of life in this country and maintain a good and stable environment.”

Santorum added that there was “obviously a role for government to play” in environmental regulation, but it was best left to state and local government.

“Freedom isn’t to do whatever you want to do, it’s to do what you ought to do,” he opined.

But the former Pennsylvania senator hasn’t always claimed to be on the side of science.

During a debate over stem cell research in 2006, he blasted scientists for having “very little moral compulsion.”

“It’s a utilitarian, materialistic view of doing whatever they can do pursue their desired goals,” he told C-SPAN. “I think someone has to step in and check that.”

The then-Pennsylvania senator also sponsored an amendment to the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act that would have required children to learn about creationism in science class. The amendment passed the Senate 91-8, but did not make it into the law signed by President George W. Bush. Proponents of intelligent design still claimed victory because language from the amendment was included in the conference report to explain the purpose of the bill.

“Where topics are taught that may generate controversy (such as biological evolution), the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy, and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society,” the report said.

Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Feb. 20, 2012.

 
David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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