Santorum's spokeswoman retracts comment about Obama's "radical Islamist policies"

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum addresses the Ohio Christian Alliance conference Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. AP Photo/Eric Gay

Rick Santorum addresses the Ohio Christian Alliance conference, Feb. 18, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.
AP Photo/Eric Gay
Rick Santorum's new presidential campaign spokeswoman, Alice Stewart, retracted her comment Monday that compared President Obama's policies to "radical Islamic policies."

Stewart said shortly after her MSNBC appearance that said she had misspoken, according to a tweeted message by interviewer Andrea Mitchell. The verbal gaffe followed several comments from Santorum himself that have dogged the campaign in recent days.

The comment by Stewart, who was hired onto Santorum's campaign last week after working on Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's presidential bid, came during an exchange with Mitchell as the journalist sought to clarify a remark by Santorum over the weekend that the president's "theology" was not based on the Bible.

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"He was not questioning the president's character, he wasn't questioning the president's religion," Stewart said. "As he's said, he has clarified the statement. He was talking about radical environmentalists. There is a type of theological secularism when it comes to the global warmists in this country. He was referring to the president's policies, in terms of the radical Islamic policies the president has, particular in terms of the energy exploration."

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Santorum was discussing Obama's energy policy on Saturday, when he said, "It's not about you. It's not about your quality of life. It's not about your job. It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology, but no less a theology."

Santorum insisted again Monday that the president's "ideology" about the environment incorrectly makes man subservient to the environment.

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    Rebecca Kaplan covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.