GOP presidential field backs Fox News: Charleston proof of a war on "religious liberty"

Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham parroted the arguments that appeared on "Fox & Friends" this morning

Published June 18, 2015 7:24PM (EDT)

  (AP/Rainier Ehrhardt)
(AP/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Far be it for us to say that Republican presidential field takes its cues directly from Fox News, but shortly after Steve Doocy and Bishop E.W. Jackson suggested on "Fox & Friends" that Dylann Storm Roof might have murdered nine people in a historic Charleston church out of "a hostility toward Christians," the potential nominees began tripping over themselves to parrot this patently untrue bit of received wisdom.

In an interview with New York radio station AM 970, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum said that Roof's actions were of a piece with the wider war on "religious liberty" in the United States.

"You’re sort of lost that somebody could walk into a Bible study in a church and indiscriminately kill people," he said. "You talk about the importance of prayer in this time and we’re now seeing assaults on our religious liberty we’ve never seen before. It’s a time for deeper reflection beyond this horrible situation."

Current South Carolina Senator and GOP presidential candidate Lindsey Graham expressed very similar sentiments on "The View," telling the panelists that "there are real people out there that are organized to kill people in religion and based on race. This guy is just whacked out."

However, Roof's "whacked out" in way that's increasingly popular among the enemies of Christianity. "It's 2015," Graham said, "there are people out there looking for Christians to kill them. This is a mean time we live in."

Watch Graham's appearance on "The View" as captured by Raw Story's David Edwards below.

By Scott Eric Kaufman

MORE FROM Scott Eric Kaufman

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Charleston Lindsey Graham Religion Rick Santorum Steve Doocy Video