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Comments unearthed from a 2008 speech about Satan’s influence on America made Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum the target of derision and mockery today, but talk-radio host Michael Savage contends the former Pennsylvania senator is right, and his beliefs should only help his chances for the White House this fall.

“I think Santorum is right, and I think that anyone who attacks him is not seeing this for what it is,” Savage told his radio audience.

Savage said he agrees that America is primarily a Christian nation, and its churches and synagogues are “filled with parishioners who are screaming for preachers and pastors and rabbis to speak the truth, and they’re not getting it.”

Addressing students at Ave Maria University in Florida in 2008, Santorum declared: “Satan has his sights on the United States of America.”

Santorum said the devil is “attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.”

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Savage said Santorum’s speech “speaks to the core issue in America right now, which is the culture rot, the soul rot.”

The former senator said America is in a “spiritual war.”

“And the Father of Lies,” Santorum said, referring to Satan, “has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age?”

Savage said people in many churches and synagogues are getting only “mumbo jumbo.”

“They don’t get the true stuff that they’re going to the churches for,” Savage said.

Savage noted the comments have caused concern among Republicans who believe they could cause serious damage in the general election if Santorum were to become the nominee.

But the talk host thinks they could ultimately benefit Santorum, because he is expressing what most Americans believe.

“I don’t care that the liberals are having a heyday with it,” he said. “I think it’s going to work against them.”

Savage reminded his listeners that Democrats rejoiced when Ronald Reagan, a cultural conservative, became the GOP’s nominee to run against Jimmy Carter in 1980.

“When Jimmy Carter ran America off the ground – the worst president in American history until now – along came Ronald Reagan, and the left was high-fiving each other all over the DNC.”

Democrats said, recalled Savage, “Thank God, the stupid Republicans have picked a right-winger to run against Carter.”

“And they started to mock Reagan.”

The rest is history.

“So, you never know what can happen when you get someone who actually believes what he’s talking about, as Rick Santorum does,” Savage said.

“The Savage Nation” airs live Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern. It can be heard online through stations such as KSTE in Sacramento.

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