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Santorum camp backtracks after 'radical Islamic' remark [Video]

February 20, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli
  • Alice Stewart, Rick Santorum's press secretary, during an appearance Monday on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."
Alice Stewart, Rick Santorum's press secretary, during an appearance… (MSNBC.com )

In trying to clarify recent comments from Rick Santorum about President Obama's "phony theology," the candidate's new national press secretary made a gaffe of her own, saying Obama had pursued "radical Islamic policies" (see video below).

Alice Stewart, who had worked for Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign before signing on with Santorum earlier this month, made the slip during an appearance Monday afternoon on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

The segment focused on the former Pennsylvania senator's line of attack on Obama for his environmental policies, which were guided, Santorum said in Ohio this weekend, by "some phony ideal. Some phony theology."

"As he has clarified the statement, he was talking about radical environmentalists," Stewart told Mitchell. "There is a type of theological secularism when it comes to the global warmists in this country. That's what he was referring to. He was referring to the president's policies, in terms of the radical Islamic policies the president has."

The comment drew no immediate reaction from Mitchell. But later, the host said that Stewart called to express regret for misspeaking.

"Stewart called only moments later -- while the show was on the air -- to say she regretted the slip of the tongue, and to please note that she had misspoken and did not realize until it was pointed out to her that she had used the word 'Islamic' by mistake," Mitchell wrote on NBC's First Read blog.

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