Santorum plays multiple cards from a hot button deck
January 20th, 2011
01:39 PM ET
4 years ago

Santorum plays multiple cards from a hot button deck

Washington (CNN) - Possible 2012 Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum is dialing back on comments made to CNSnews.com during an interview that blasted President Obama's stance on abortion and invoked the President's race.

In a statement provided to CNN following the interview's web posting Thursday, Santorum said "For decades certain human beings were wrongly treated as property and denied liberty in America because they were not considered persons under the constitution. Today other human beings, the unborn of all races, are also wrongly treated as property and denied the right to life for the same reason; because they are not considered persons under the constitution. I am disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country."

The comments that sparked criticism came from the former Pennsylvania senator during an interview with the Media Research Center's CNSnews.com where he discussed both slavery and abortion while analyzing the merits of secular law vs. natural law.

"There's…natural law that we learn in America by and large by faith. That law is one that sits over the secular law and that one that we have to achieve," Santorum continued,

"When we had slavery in this county slavery did not conform to the natural law. And as result there was agitation, always. Abortion does not conform to the natural law, why, because all life should be respected."

Asserting his belief that "every person, every child conceived in the womb has a right to life at the moment of conception, Santorum continued.

"So the question is not whether this is a human life. But Barack Obama says you know 'is a child in the womb a human life, well, that's above my pay grade.'"

The former Senator folded criticism of Obama into his pro-life argument by stating, "Just about everything else in the world he's willing to do-have the government do-but he can't answer that basic question which is not a debatable issue at all.

"The question is-and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer-is that, is that human life a person under the Constitution. And Barack Obama says no. "

Santorum continued, playing the race card.

"Well if that person, a human life, is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people."

CNN's Jessica Yellin contributed to this report.


Filed under: Rick Santorum
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Obama 2012

    Goodbye Santorum. You let your racist card show. Take your place in line with Palin.

    January 20, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Former Republican, but never again!

    Republicans want the government out of everything except the most difficult decision a woman can make.

    January 20, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Henry

    Here we go again. Every time an election comes up the Repubs trot out a different pony. Predictable though with the different wedge issues.
    1. Abortion
    2. Immigration
    3. Family values
    4. Faith
    5. Gun control

    They use these issues to whip up their base and to start a phony argument that goes away right after the election. These repubs also know that the audience is the same. People who get whipped up about abortion get whipped up about all of these wedge issues. Repubs love class warfare. And their base is just like the bobble head in the back of the car. They all enthusiastically nod their heads and get angry. Then, when questioned, they blame the "elites", you know the people who think and analyze.

    January 20, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Heck uv a job!!!

    Nice logic; why, it's so simple....
    In fact. what constitues "life" is debatable. I'm sure we all can agree on what living cells are, but legally speaking, when does that become a "life", not so clear.
    It's always the same... start with something most can accept as true and right, then comes...the logic leap.
    Fortunately, he will NEVER be president, despite having all the answers.

    January 20, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. kayla

    you fight for the unborn, then you send them to war to get kill. how ironic you are all hypocrites

    January 20, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Old Guy

    How about the welfare of the young unwed mother denied a choice by goverment which is forbidden when it concerns a person's gun rights. Once the child is born, republicans are against proper health care, school funding, and a decent minumun wage for the unwed mother. Republicans talk about the unborn but abandon the child at birth to a life of povertry with no future.

    January 20, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. vic nashville tn

    This is the way he start his campaign wow

    January 20, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. JOhn

    What about ghost rights? Ewoks? imginary Creatures should have cosnistituional rights too.

    Religion remains the problem.

    January 20, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. Pat-San Jose CA

    Boy, Obama has so much power now that he can "decide who is a person and who isn't a person". And all along I thought that was the prerogative of the Constitution and the courts!

    January 20, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    Ask him if he believes in the death penalty: if he says yes, he is a hypocrite.

    For Rick Santorum, who cheerfully voted to send other people into battle but never had the courage to go himself, to talk about the sanctity of life without admitting his own inconsistencies on the issue disqualifies him from anything. What makes it even worse is that he is playing the race card in a way that does not serve his point, but only diminishes it.

    January 20, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Snow

    obama will always support abortion because he is part of the looney tunes left.

    January 20, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. DJ in TX

    Just an idiotic argument at best. I'm not calling Santorum a racists, but I'm saying he's an idiot. Slavery and abortion???? What is there to compare?? There is no comparison whatsoever. And for Santorum to invoke race into the debate is absolutely idiotic. No matter what side of the abortion you are on, race has absolutely nothing to do with it. There is not a single comparison between slavery and abortion and for a politician who wants to be president to suggest so..............enough said.

    January 20, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. Bill

    Howdy Doody has about about as much of a chance of winning the nomination as that reprobate Palin. These comments are over the top. Go write a book or work for Fox News – it would be a better use of your time.

    January 20, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. sshields

    I guess in his eyes, its ok compare a breathing black person, to a group of cells that at that given point, has no conception of its existence or of life and what it even means to be free.

    January 20, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    Over population is now killing the planet and will cause wars to be waged over the scarcity of food and water, not to mention having roof over ones head.

    January 20, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. sshields

    Essentially, he just called all black people unintelligent organisms which is more racist than calling them the N word.

    January 20, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. disco stu

    If the Abortion issue is the only thing youve got – that is not going to be NEARLY enough to catapult you to the White House.
    Take a hint from your constituents Rick - get another line of work.

    January 20, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Lisa P

    A "pre-born" person is not a person - otherwise why the qualifier?

    Santorum also has a pretty bizarre idea about what "natural law" is or is not (in this case, mainly an empty rhetorical ploy). If he knew anything at all about the arguments made in favor of slavery back in the day he would know that his conservative predecessors were more than happy to claim that chattel slavery was an entirely natural and essential part of human society, sanctified by God, the Bible, History, Morality, Human Nature, or any other "authority" they cared to conjure, or make, up. Kind of like his own empty assertion that a fetus is a person. Backed up by the Flying Spaghetti Monster, no doubt.

    But I tell you what: if Rick Santorum will back a law that any American 16-50 years old can be required at random and multiple times to drop everything and devote 9 months of their lives to the care and service of others (just think what a great way this would be to fund universal health care!) then we can talk. Because conservative and religious blowhards like Santorum always seem to forget that the thing that changes a fetus into a baby is nine months of work by the woman who is carrying it.

    January 20, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. lynn

    How man babies does Santorum promise to adopt if the mother promises to not have an abortion? Put your money where your mouth is and set an example for the rest of the anti-abortionists. If you oppose abortions, fine, but sign up for a baby.

    January 20, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. Albert

    The only difference between Obama and the child still in the womb is that the child is still in the womb. When Obama was in his mothers womb, he was not an unborn child? Every person who comments on this site was in the same position in their mothers womb at one time. You grew (hopefully) into what you are today. Now that he's safely out of his mothers womb, those children still in the womb he now does not acknowledge as children? Is he that dense? YES!

    January 20, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. Whammybar

    Mr. Santorum, keep your personal beliefs out of my family. Choice is just that, regardless of your position we have choice. Let's not take that freedom away, we have so few left. Be happy to have a choice. Without choice we are less of a people than if we have no choice. You live the way you want and I will choose to live the way I want. I do not choose your life, don't choose mine for me or my family. I don't like abortion either but keep our freedom to choose.
    Playing the race card is pathetic by the way, really sad. It's way above your pay grade also, that's why it cannot be your choice for the rest of us. You can't make that decision no matter how strongly you feel.

    January 20, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. DAW, NC

    Look into his past and see what he represents. I am not sure that his beliefs and how they should be represented in laws etc match up with a majority of Americans. Not surprised to see the race issue interjected, a republican way of stirring up the bigotry and hate issues in a way that they can deny intent and blame the people who see their intentions as being leftists, socialist, anti religion, etc.

    January 20, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. w l jones

    How many trillion is lost every day and not classify as human being under the constition every day if you know what I mean. Said enough.

    January 20, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. Zenichi-Maro

    Wow.

    Although, to his credit, I'm sure this means that Mr. Santorum is also opposed to war and capital punishment. Anyone who's that strident about abortion clearly values "all human life," right? Right?!?

    January 20, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. T'sah from Virginia

    Every day there is Santorum in the Ticker??? At least THIS picture is better than the one posted yesterday!!

    January 20, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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