(WASHINGTON) -- Obama campaign strategist and former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs blasted GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Sunday morning, saying he was “well over the line” for questioning President Obama’s Christian faith.
“It’s wrong, it’s destructive and it makes it virtually impossible to solve the problems we face together as Americans,” Gibbs told ABC's Jake Tapper in an exclusive interview Sunday on This Week. “It’s just time to get rid of this mindset in our politics that if we disagree we have to question character and faith.”
Gibbs was responding to comments Santorum made Saturday that Obama is pushing a “phony theology” that is not based on the Bible and “imposing his secular values on the church.”
Although Santorum later insisted he was not suggesting Obama was not a Christian, Gibbs said his comments still went too far.
“I think that if you make comments like that, you make comments that are well over the line,” Gibbs said. “It’s time to have a conversation on political issues, not question each other’s faith.”
Faith-based issues have surged to the forefront of the political debate over the past few weeks, particularly in the GOP primary, as a fierce debate over contraception and gay marriage erupted onto the national scene.
Gibbs said Sunday that he did not know if legalizing same-sex marriage would be on the Democratic platform heading into the general election.
“I think we all look to and want to live in a world where, if you’re applying for a job or doing anything, you’re not judged on your sexual orientation,” Gibbs said. “And I think living in a society where that doesn’t happen is a society we all want to live.”
The Obama campaign adviser said the “nastiness” and “divisiveness” taking place in the GOP primary are threatening the Republican Party’s standing with the American people.
“The GOP primary has, in many cases, been a race to the bottom,” Gibbs said.
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