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Santorum: JFK speech on religion still makes him sick

GOP hopeful says separating church, state makes him want to 'throw up'

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum didn’t shy from comments he made last year, saying JFK’s speech about separating church and state still makes him sick.

Speaking on ABC’s This Week, the former Pennsylvania senator said then Sen. John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech in Houston “makes me throw up.”

“To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case?” Santorum told host George Stephanopoulos.

Kennedy’s speech came during his campaign for president. He was trying to assure a group of Protestant leaders that he would not lead from one perspective, CBS News said.

JFK said he wasn’t “the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic.”

Santorum originally made his comments last October during an appearance at College of Saint Mary Magdalen in Warner, N.H., the Washington Post said.

“Earlier in my political career, I had the opportunity to read the speech, and I almost threw up. You should read the speech,” Santorum said then, according to the Post.

He reiterated those comments today, saying religion plays a fundamental role in government.

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“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” Santorum said. “The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.”

The GOP race heads to Michigan and Arizona on Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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Rick Santorum speaks at a Republican fundraiser Tuesday in Phoenix.

Santorum gets Secret Service protection

Rick Santorum will join Mitt Romney in receiving protecting from the Secret Service, CNN reported.

Romney is the only GOP candidate currently receiving protection. Herman Cain, who ran but dropped out last December, was also granted protection.

President Barack Obam was the first to receive protection before the 2008 election. Romney began to receive protection on February 1, but Obama received his in May 2007, roughly a year and a half before the election, according to CNN.

The large crowds then-candidate Obama was drawing led the Secret Service to assess Obama's eligibility.

Former House speaker Neewt Gingrich has reportedly requested protection but has yet to receive it, the Associated Press reported

Candidates historically would receive protection after securing the party's nomination, but in past elections requests for early protection have been granted by the Department of Homeland Security. Poll numbers and fundraising are used as measures when assessing eligibility for protection, the AP said.