Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.
Performing a one-man resurrection of the religious right's favorite attacks against Obama's religious beliefs, Franklin Graham—Billy Graham's son and an evangelist himself—attempted to cast some doubt on Obama's Christianity on Monday, echoing Rick Santorum's weekend insinuation that Obama might not be the right kind of Christian.
Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe, the younger Graham was asked about both Obama and Santorum's Christianity. Via Politico, who picked up the story first, here are his answers:
On Obama, Graham said: "You have to ask him. I cannot answer that question for anybody... You have to ask every person. He has said he’s a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is." When asked directly if he believed Obama had "accepted Jesus Christ," Graham replied, "I don't know."
While not specifying whether he believed Obama is a Christian, Graham did manage to mention the president's Muslim father, and argue that Obama has given Muslims "a free pass" during his time in the oval office: "Under President Obama…the Muslims of the world, he seems to be more concerned, than Christians who are being murdered in Muslims countries."
By contrast, Graham didn't waiver on whether he thinks Santorum is a Christian: "His values are so clear on moral issues. No question about it. I just appreciate the moral stances he takes on things. He comes from a Catholic faith… I think he’s a man of faith."
Graham also weighed in on Romney and Gingrich. He believes Gingrich is Christian ("At least, he told me he is"), and gave a bit more complicated answer on Romney's Mormonism:
"Most Christians would not recognize Mormons as part of the Christian faith...they believe in Jesus Christ. They have a lot of other things they believe in too, that we don’t accept, theologically." But he added, "I like him...he would be a good president… He’s a sharp guy."
The MSNBC panelists pushed back against many of Graham's comments, calling his takes on the candidates' faiths "an amazing double standard." Watch for yourself: