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Gingrich Praises JFK Speech About Religion -- The Same One That Almost Made Santorum 'Throw Up

"...his first duty as president would be to do the job of president, and I think that's correct."

WASHINGTON (The Blaze/AP) -- Newt Gingrich disagrees with Rick Santorum's harsh criticism of the famous speech on religion that John F. Kennedy delivered as he campaigned to become the nation's first Roman Catholic president. As you'll recall, Santorum said that he almost "threw up" after reading the speech about church-state separatism.

(Related: Santorum Says Separation of Church & State Not 'Absolute')

Gingrich and Santorum, each a Catholic seeking the GOP nomination, view Kennedy's words differently. While Santorum says he felt sick after reading Kennedy's 1960 speech and believes it advocated absolute separation of church and state.

"The first substantive line says 'I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.' I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute," Santorum said over the weekend on ABC‘s 'This Week.'" "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."

Gingrich, though, takes a radically different stance and calls it a "remarkable speech." He told Fox News Channel on Tuesday that Kennedy was reassuring voters that he wouldn't obey any foreign religious leader. Gingrich said Kennedy was declaring "that his first duty as president would be to do the job of president, and I think that's correct."

Here is a portion of Kennedy's famed speech on faith -- the tenets of which Santorum and Gingrich clearly disagree upon:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

Gingrich does share Santorum's position on President Barack Obama, however. Gingrich said Obama's administration is "anti-religious."

One last thing…
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