Santorum: I don't need to correct claim Obama is Muslim

LADY LAKE, Fla. - Rick Santorum said Monday he doesn't see the need to correct audience members who make misstatements. His comment came after a woman critical of President Obama at a forum misidentified the president as Muslim.

The woman told Santorum, "He is an avowed Muslim and my question is, why isn't something being done to get him out of our government?" Santorum responded: "Believe me ... I'm doing everything I can to get him out of the government."

The former Pennsylvania senator defended his approach to reporters afterward.

"It's not my responsibility as a candidate to correct everybody who makes a statement that I disagree with," Santorum said. "There are lots of people who get up and say stuff in a town hall meeting and say things that I don't agree with, but I don't think it's my obligation, nor should it be your feeling that it's my obligation to correct somebody who says something that I don't agree with."

The issue has surfaced with GOP audiences in the past. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican John McCain answered a question who pejoratively described Mr. Obama as an "Arab" by saying: "No, ma'am. He's a decent family man ... [a] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues."

Also at Monday's event, two Occupy Tampa protestors were dragged out for interrupting the event after they shouted "stop the hate!" and tossed glitter toward Santorum. (There were three protesters total, but one went quietly.) All three protestors were cited for trespassing and detained until the event was over.

Santorum told reporters the Occupy members have a right to protest, but that he hopes they can be "respectful."

Full CBS News coverage: Rick Santorum
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