Santorum blasts Obama for 'coercion'
February 10th, 2012
11:41 AM ET
3 years ago

Santorum blasts Obama for 'coercion'

Washington (CNN) - Rick Santorum trained his fire on President Barack Obama Friday during his much-anticipated speech at CPAC, hitting the president over the recent controversy surrounding health insurance coverage for contraceptives.

"They believe rights come from government," he said, with his family on stage. "The most important one they've been able to shove down the throats of the American public is the right to health care."

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While the White House said Friday it would find an alternative to the rule requiring religious institutions to cover contraceptives, Santorum took issue with the original policy, saying the administration was trying to "force" insurance on something that only cost "a few dollars" and had "no economic need."

Santorum's remarks reflected a steady theme of opposition toward the new rule at the conference, as several speakers have railed against the policy.

"This is the kind of coercion we can expect," he said. "It's not about contraception. It's about government control of our lives and it's got to stop."

Following his three election victories this week and a strong fundraising boost, the Republican presidential candidate predicted the GOP would win the election by making "Barack Obama and his failed policies the issues of this race."

He also took the opportunity to take a swipe at rival candidate Mitt Romney and called the former governor's Massachusetts health care program the "stepchild" of Obama's sweeping health care reform.

Turning back to his criticism of Obama, Santorum blasted the administration's policies on energy and climate change, arguing that Obama was trying to "dictate what lights to turn on and what cars to drive."

"They scare you by intimidating you to trust them and give you power," he said.

Also see:

Santorum says opposition to contraception rule doesn't restrict women's rights


Romney meets privately with conservative leaders at CPAC

As Santorum and Romney battle, Paul slams both as liberal

Who's the biggest earmarker of them all?


Filed under: 2012 • CPAC 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (364 Responses)
  1. Mindie in Indie

    This is an argument the GOP has lost.

    February 11, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. Lori in CO

    When will the men in the GOP understand that women have the right to determine what to do about their own health??? This conversation has gone on far too long already...and it just started. There are a lot of Catholic women who are already using birth control, so I don't understand what the church is hollering about. The Catholic church needs to move into this century and get with what's going on. This group of GOPers all want to take women back to the 18th century...and this woman is PROUD to be a Democrat and voting for OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!!! At least that way I know my rights will be respected!!!

    February 11, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. slippery

    Let him in and the inquisition returns from Spain.

    February 11, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. doug

    vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012, I respect your right to worship your god Obama, I guess it works out Jesus had his resurection, and Obama like other chicago thug Daily Democrats gets the dead to vote. A miracle for simple minded Democrats who live a life of only hate, lies, and selfishness.

    February 11, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. LEFT/RIGHT Wing Who really cares

    Politicalgirl- You keep complaining about men trying to control women's rights. Well from the comments you made you need someone to control your life because you are clueless. You scream for separation of church and state yet you say the government should be able to tell a church hospital that they must provide birth control, but the republicans want the church to be able to make its own decision, which is to not provide the "pill", that is what the church wants no government involved in that decision. Sounds like separation of church and state to me. But obviously you can not logically differentiate between the two. Please think for yourself people. The left and right both spread lies and persuade the uneducated by simple paper thin arguments/propaganda that could easily be proven false if you take a deeper look, ask questions, and do a little research.

    February 11, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. fred

    Romney/Santorum 2012

    Women keep saying they don't think men should have an opinion about what they do with their womb. Well I don't have a wife, so I guess if a man beats his wife, I shouldn't have an opinion about that either. I don't have kids, so I shouldn't care if some pedifile violates a kid. I have a right to my opinon and you have a right to yours, even if you are wrong – that is the American way, we are not quite yet a communist/socialist/fascist society.

    BTW – I am an American Catholic who happens to be white, gay, and conservative – in a 20 plus year relationship with a man. Obama is wrong on so many issues – economy, social, military, etc.

    February 11, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Mom of Two

    Social Conservatives SAY they want small government, however, they need a government large enough to force their social agenda on the rest of the country.

    February 11, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Keith

    The long history of human society affirms that humans believe their fellow humans have a right to health care. That is why the overwhelming majority of Americans believe a hospital emergency room has the moral obligation to treat anyone regardless of their wealth. That is why a tribal member who is injured in a hunting accident is not simply tossed aside and left to die if there is anything the tribe can do for him. That is why humans researched cures for afflictions LONG before there was any profit motive behind it. It is only the anti-society outliers like Santorum who preach otherwise.

    February 11, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. KC

    Rick, How are you going to explain to all the retirees in FL and other parts of America that you are getting rid of Medicare? Since Healthcare isn't a right! I guess you are either going to lie and tell everyone you are not going to get rid of Medicare now. I would love seeing the faces of all the GOPers who held up signs telling the gov't to keep their hands off my Medicare when they find out that is what you plan to do if elected POTUS.

    February 11, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. Errm

    Anyone ever notice that the responses from the GOP to these stories always sound like a 2nd grader wrote them? Bad spelling, grammar, and punctuation....eeesh.

    February 11, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. frsi

    Ricky boy, your tirade is pathetic and most Americans aren't buying it. The POYUS is coercing the public? Sure enough – it's called politics. Can you name even one POTUS in the histroy of the Republic that has governed any differently? Even one???

    February 11, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. Keith

    The GOP preaches that humans must pay extortion to huge corporations in order to receive any health care. Humans have the God-given RIGHT to not be treated as mere slaves who exist only to generate profit for corporations.

    February 11, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. CedarRapids

    "This country was built on the backs of men and women who worked hard"

    yes, they were called slaves.

    February 11, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. RAMBLE

    Obama and coercion. Never. Just look at Michele's school lunch rooms.

    February 11, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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