"Face the Nation" transcript: February 19, 2012

Former Pa. Senator and GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum on "Face the Nation" Sunday, Feb. 19, 2011.

Below is a rush transcript of "Face the Nation" on February 19, 2012, hosted by CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer. Guest is Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. A roundtable with CBS News' Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson, The Detroit Free Press' Todd Spangler and The Washington Posts' Karen Tumulty

BOB SCHIEFFER: Today on FACE THE NATION, did you hear what Rick Santorum said. He's the man of the hour in Republican politics and he's with us this morning. The latest leader in the Republican race at the top of the national polls and even in Michigan where Mitt Romney grew up. Yesterday, he was feeling his oats. In one twenty-four-hour-period he questioned the President's religious beliefs.

RICK SANTORUM (Republican Presidential Candidate/Former Pennsylvania Senator): It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology, oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology, but none-- no-- no less a theology.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Said prenatal testing is really just the President's way to reduce costs in taking care of the disabled.

RICK SANTORUM: Because it saves money in health care. Why? Because free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and therefore less care that has to be done because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And questioned the value of public schools.

RICK SANTORUM: But the idea that the federal government should be running schools frankly much less that the state government should be running schools is anachronistic.

BOB SCHIEFFER: We'll ask him about all of it this morning, then check in with our round table of Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson, plus Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post and Todd Spangler of The Detroit Free Press.


ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington FACE THE NATION with Bob Schieffer.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning. Welcome, Senator.

You are the leader in the polls this morning. And I have to say you were very busy yesterday. The Associated Press led its story of your appearance in Columbus, Ohio, by saying, quote, "Rick Santorum questioned Barack Obama's Christian values." That was after you lashed out at the President's proposal on energy of all things when you said this.

RICK SANTORUM (Republican Presidential Candidate/Former Pennsylvania Senator): It's not about you. It's not about you. It's not about your quality of life. It's not about your jobs.

MAN: Right.

RICK SANTORUM: It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology.

(Crowd applauding)

BOB SCHIEFFER: So, Senator, I've got to ask you. What-- what in the world were you talking about, Sir?

RICK SANTORUM: Well, I was talking about the-- the radical environmentalists. That's why I was talking about energy, this-- this idea that-- that man is-- is not-- is here to serve the Earth as opposed to husband its resources and be good stewards of the Earth. And I think that is a-- a-- is a phony ideal. I don't believe that that's what-- that's what we're here to do. That-- we-- that-- that man is here to-- to use the resources and use them wisely, to care for the Earth, to be a steward of the Earth. But we're not here to serve the Earth. The Earth is not the objective. Man is the objective. And-- and I think a lot of radical-- a-- a-- a lot of radical environmentalists have it upside down.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, how does that translate into some sort of theology that the President's theology--

RICK SANTORUM (voice overlapping): Well, it's-- it's a world view.

BOB SCHIEFFER: --is not based on the Bible. I mean that suggests that he's not a Christian.