New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says that former senator Rick Santorum’s (R-Pa.) 2008 remarks that “Satan has his sights set on America” are relevant to the presidential race.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Chrisitie (R). (Jim Cole — Associated Press)

“It is by definition relevant. You’re asking to be president of the United States. I don’t think (Santorum’s) right about that. I think it is relevant what he says. I think people want to make an evaluation, a complete evaluation of anyone who asks to sit in the Oval Office.”

Santorum told reporters after addressing a crowd of about 250 people in Phoenix, Ariz., Tuesday night that he believed the remarks on Satan — which were part of a speech he gave at a conservative Catholic university four years ago — were not relevant to the current primary battle.

In his remarks to the Phoenix crowd, Santorum argued that it’s the media that has turned his four-year-old speech into a new controversy and that he stands by his comments.

“I’ll defend everything I say,” Santorum said.