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Santorum: GOP not 'anti-science'

From NBC's Ali Weinberg
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum railed against former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s statement that the Republican Party risks becoming the “anti-science” party. 

Speaking to a group of about 90 people at the Beacon Drive-In in Spartanburg, SC, a popular stop for presidential candidates, Santorum did not mention Gov. Huntsman by name but brought up his fellow candidate’s assertions, made on TV and via Twitter, that the Republican Party would have a “huge problem” if it became hostile to evolution and climate change.

“We are going through this debate right now by somebody who’s in the Republican field talking about people who believe in certain scientific theories, whether it’s global warming or evolution. And somehow or another if you believe that we are creatures of a loving God, that that is somehow anti-science,” Santorum said.  “It’s not anti-science. It’s an affirmation of what we view in the world. Which is, we see God."

Santorum was also asked to explain his 2004 endorsement of Sen. Arlen Specter, his fellow Pennsylvania Republican Senator who later became a Democrat, over former Rep. Pat Toomey, who defeated Specter six years later.

“If the worst thing you have to say about my record in 16 years in public life is that I endorsed my Republican colleague who I’d served with for 10 years in the Senate for re-election, then I think I’m in pretty good shape,” Santorum said.

He added that he was most concerned with conserving Republicans’ Senate majority and ensuring a clear path for President George W. Bush’s appointees to the Supreme Court, who all opposed abortion rights.

Santorum also criticized President Obama for announcing he would release a plan for job creation when he returned from his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, which he cut short due to concerns over Hurricane Irene, according to a White House spokesman. 

“If it’s a great economic plan and it’s really going to get America moving, why do we have to wait until after your vacation to know what it is?” Santorum said.