UPDATED: Fox's Santorum Injects Race In Attack On Obama Over Abortion

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Fox News contributor Rick Santorum, who is considering running for president in 2012, invoked President Obama's race while talking about abortion recently, saying* it is "remarkable for a black man to say, 'No, we are gonna decide who are people and who are not people.' " (Santorum addressed his remarks today in a statement to The Brody File blog of the Christian Broadcasting Network. The statement is after the jump.)

Interviewing Santorum, CNSNews' Terry Jeffrey started the discussion with a quote from Roman philosopher Cicero about there being a "true law ... conformable to nature" that "must for ever reign, eternal and imperishable." When asked whether he agreed with Cicero, Santorum replied, "Absolutely," adding, "There are two laws: there's the secular law, there's manmade laws; then there's a higher law, the sacred law, universal law, the natural law that's -- that we learn in America by a march through faith -- through the moral code that faith teaches. ... And that law is one that sits over the secular law." Santorum continued:

SANTORUM: So when we had slavery in this country, it didn't -- slavery did not conform to the natural law. And as a result, there was agitation, always. Abortion doesn't conform to the natural law. Why? Because we don't -- all life should be respected. And so, this agitation of having laws that are in -- secular laws that are inconsistent with the natural law is something that we've dealt with in America from its very founding. And -- but we have to recognize that there's a place for the articulation of the sacred law ... or the natural law, or the universal law and that they need to be in the public square, and they need to be involved in the political discourse because there are moral components to every single law we pass.

Santorum then went on to criticize the "elite," "the planners," and "the smart people," who say, " 'No, this is how we're gonna do things.' " Santorum added: "And if the sacred law and the secular don't match up, as the Supreme Court has done on numerous occasions -- whether it's marriage, or abortion, or a whole host of others issues -- they've sort of pulled that discussion, that, you know, perfect remedy, and pulled the plug on it and said, no, we're gonna impose our remedy -- an imperfect one based upon the elites of our culture."

Bringing the discussion to "current, concrete issues," Jeffrey asked, "We asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ... this past summer whether she believed Jesus had a right to life from the moment of conception. What's your -- did Jesus have a right to life from the moment of conception?" Santorum replied:

SANTORUM: Every person, every child conceived in the womb has a right to life from the moment of conception. Why? Because they are human, genetically human. They're -- they have the same genetic composition as you and I do from that moment on. And it's alive. So it is human, by genetic. And it is alive. So it's a human life.

So the question is, not whether this is human life -- when Barack Obama was asked, you know, "Is a child in the womb a human life?" "Oh, it's above my pay grade." Just about everything else in the world he's willing to do, have the government do, but he can't answer that basic question, which is not a -- which is not a debatable issue at all. I don't think you'll find a biologist in the world who will say that that is not a human life.

The question is -- and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer -- is that, is that human life a person under the Constitution?" and Barack Obama says no. Well, if that person -- human life is not a person, then -- I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, "No, we are gonna decide who are people and who are not people."

Obama made his "above my pay grade" remark during a religious forum in August 2008, when he answered a question about when life begins by saying that determining such a thing was above his pay grade.

Santorum is a longtime critic of Obama: He has claimed that Obama "put his own popularity overseas ahead of the interests of American security," has accused him of "palling around" with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and of "doing things that are ... un-American." Referring to a planned presidential overseas Asian trip, Santorum stated: "I think the Democrats are actually worried [Obama] may go to Indonesia and bow to more Muslims."

Santorum's Fox News colleague, Glenn Beck, has also equated slavery with abortion, saying, "There are certain things like abortion that is killing. That is killing. It's what I believe. You don't? Fine, we'll have that debate. Just like people didn't think slavery was evil. Oh, no, it's not really. They're not really people. Oh, so, we're using the same argument with the unborn -- that they're not really people. Well, I'll be happy people to have that debate over the next 50 years, 70 years, however long it takes before people wake up to yes, African-Americans were people, and an unborn baby is people."

During the CNS News interview, Santorum also argued against same-sex marriage and adoption.

* Discussion starts at about the 42-minute mark of video.

UPDATE: Santorum sent the following statement to The Brody File addressing his CNS News comments:

"For decades certain human beings were wrongly treated as property and denied liberty in America because they were not considered persons under the constitution. Today other human beings, the unborn of all races, are also wrongly treated as property and denied the right to life for the same reason; because they are not considered persons under the constitution. I am disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country."

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Fox News Channel
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Rick Santorum
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