In an early morning smackdown, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) got owned by CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who quoted the Bible to argue that President Donald Trump’s morality doesn’t match Christian teachings.
Santorum argued that everyone makes mistakes and part of Christianity is learning from those mistakes and working to become a better person. Cuomo noted, however, that Trump hasn’t done that. Over the last 50 years, Trump has had multiple affairs, been married three times, been accused of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment, as well as having affairs with adult film stars and nude models just after his wife gave birth to his son.
Santorum essentially confessed that Trump’s morality doesn’t matter in the face of what he does for right-wing Christians through legislation.
“A a Catholic, you know, we have confession,” Santorum explained. Trump is not Catholic and does not go to confession. “The question is but how do they behave on the issues we have elected them to deal with. They are, in fact, choosing.”
Cuomo called Santorum out on his distinction and hypocrisy from the Christian right when it came to former President Bill Clinton’s affairs.
“You were in there during the Clinton years,” Cuomo said. “This was not what was being said by this voting bloc. You remember you called for Clinton to resign to be impeached and [Monica] Lewinsky was too big a cloud. When it suits the politics, the piety is great. And when it doesn’t, the piety is easily excused. That’s hypocrisy.”
Santorum tried to say it was the case for both sides.
“Let’s talk about this side,” Cuomo returned. “They have made this their currency, ‘This is why they are better than I am.’ Their faith comes first. Where is it now?”
Santorum disagreed and attacked the #MeToo movement for not attacking Bill Clinton. Clinton, however, is no longer the president or any elected official. The #MeToo movement didn’t begin until over 20 years after he was in office.
“Let’s just be honest about all of this,” Santorum continued, promising he’s not an apologist for Trump. “You’re right. The politics seem to Trump everything these days. Unfortunately, that is the case.”
Cuomo demanded to know why Santorum refused to attack Trump the way he attacked Clinton in the 1990s.
“Well, I didn’t talk about Bill Clinton’s affairs than I did Bill Clinton,” Santorum tried to claim. “His impeachment was not about his affairs, it was him lying about it…I was there. The reality is when the president breaks a law, that’s a big deal.”
“But still, character either counts or it doesn’t,” Cuomo continued hammering the evangelical community’s hypocrisy. He went on to say that people who put their faith first are now being outright hypocrites on Trump.
“With people who say they put faith first, character has to count,” Cuomo said. “It always has. We have heard it time and time again. Now everything is forgivable. They liken Donald Trump to King David. Is that a good analysis?”
Santorum agreed, saying that King David was a flawed man. That’s when Cuomo brought the Bible into play in comparing Trump to King David.
“What else did King David do that made him acceptable to Christians and is a fundamental aspect in the Bible?” Cuomo asked rhetorically. “Psalm 51: It was fundamental to the forgiveness. It was fundamental to the acceptance of what he was as flawed because he knew it, and he begged forgiveness and promised to live his life differently going forward. It is in the Bible story because it is fundamental to the reckoning to it.”
Santorum argued that contrition wasn’t to man it was to God and that’s what evangelicals believe. He said he doesn’t know if Trump has asked for forgiveness from God, confessed his sins or promised to lead a better life and be a better man.
“Isn’t that convenient?” Cuomo asked. “They judge things that are between man and God all the time when it suits them.”
“If you put D next to his name, there will be a lot of loud and proud talking about it,” Cuomo said.
One Christian writer noted last month, “the devil is delighted” to see evangelicals defending Trump and the GOP at all costs.
Watch the full interview below:
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