GOP Candidates' Faith Put Under the Microscope

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Faith is taking center stage in the lead-up to tonight's Republican debate in Arizona.

With the crucial Michigan primary just days away, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is going after the Obama administration for its secular agenda.

Asked at a town hall meeting how he would protect religious liberty, Romney said the Obama administration had a secular agenda that "fought against religion."

Meanwhile, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's religious views have come under scrutiny in recent days after he characterized the president's religious views as "phony theology."

Santorum is also trying to defuse comments he made in 2008 about Satan attacking the United States.

"If you were Satan, who would you go after in this day and age? There is no one other than the United States," he'd said.

But Santorum isn't backing down from all the talk about faith. Tuesday in Arizona, he quoted President John Adams saying "our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people."

He also noted the Constitution protects Americans' God-given rights.

National polls show next week's races in Arizona and Michigan in a dead heat. Many consider Romney's birth state of Michigan a must-win for him.

"I'm glad to see Michigan is coming back. It is coming back, but it's with no thanks to this president," he said of Obama. "Almost everything he's done has made it hard for the economy to reboot."

Romney's not only going after the president, he and his supporters are spending millions on ads against Santorum, hitting hard at his record in Congress.

"I think the Tea Party would find it very interesting that Rick Santorum voted to raise the debt ceiling five times without getting compensating reductions in spending," Romney charged.

"I don't think Rick Santorum's track record is that of a fiscal conservative," he concluded.

But an unfazed Santorum said his conservative credentials were impeccable.

"I went out and took on the tough issues -- Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, welfare reform," Santorum said. "I was the leader."

Wednesday night's debate will be the candidates last opportunity to address a national audience before next week's primaries in Michigan and Arizona and then Super Tuesday on March 6.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.