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. keeth

    Santorum doesn't want government control of our lives, he wants religious control of our lives, with him as president and dictator - much like the ayatolah in Iran.

    February 10, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. apple pie

    Santorum's attacks are even more pathetic than Romney's. He would be laughable if he weren't so embarrassing.

    February 10, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    Yes, we have a right to health care. The GOP don't agree with that. They want Americans to suffer without health care.

    February 10, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. B

    This guy is speaking to a small minority of religious zealots most of which also are racist. This man does not even believe in science, totally out of touch with the reality of the 21st century..

    Santorum will never appeal to Americans in a general election and will also never become President.

    February 10, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. cali girl

    This topic is getting really irritating! Why are men discussing what is a woman's right? Obama was the only one with cajones to stand up and get the rights we deserve. Santo, Grinch and, Rmoney can go fly a kite. They seriously think that the religious right will take this to the primaries, I beg to differ. Women will go to the polls, just wait and see.

    February 10, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Bob

    Santorum represents the Xtian Taliban wing of the Rethug party.

    Stop funding Viagra, and we'll talk about the Pill.

    Otherwise, shut yer yap, boy.

    February 10, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Only in America would the sanctimonious right wing keep women from getting equal access to birth control while giving men full access to sex enhancement on drugs.

    February 10, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Bob

    cali girl

    This topic is getting really irritating! Why are men discussing what is a woman's right?
    ----------------------------------------–

    Right wing arrogance.

    February 10, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Woman In California

    Okay Ricky when Obama hits back don't cry. I personally don't think you're man enough to handle the attacks that will come your way but IF you think you can go right ahead. BTW is it true your wife was a mistress before she was your wife?

    February 10, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. A Repulbican

    What is he talking about. Wow! I never get scared of politicians but this guy scares the hell out of me!

    February 10, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Woman In California

    What is with those dorky vests? Is this a family tradition?

    February 10, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Marry

    Santorum, Romney, Gingrich and also Paul – they all, in their own way, make the skin crawl and the stomach turn! We had the questionable pleasure to watch them and the GOP/TP now for YEARS and the only question that remains is: How can anyone with the least bit of character, love of country, sense of ethics and justice, and wanting for the country to succeed VOTE for this disgusting bunch? It is not even anymore a question of “policies” as a matter of disagreement; it is a question if you agree with this kind of disregard, contempt, misrepresentation and slander as the means of moving against opponents. Any vote for THEM reflects YOUR state of mind as a voter! And what that would show is not pretty!

    February 10, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Rick

    Only a complete moron would think people shouldn't have the right to health care, well that or someone who doesn't give a damn about people. Either way pretty much any conservative fits the bill.

    February 10, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Politicagal

    Why is it that the GOP thinks that having allowing people to have ALL their options available to them and knowing that choice is available under an affordable way is coercion and a way to control our lives. I'm Catholic and guess what, I use birth control as do many of us in this day and age whether church Bishops like to admit that or not. This is about allowing people to have an affordable way to receive all their health options and not have a Religious group dictating what you can and not have just because of their religious views. That's why we have separation of church and state, so we don't have a Theocracy controlling our lives. It's sad to see people are falling for that again in the disguise of freedom of religion. You still have that freedom the moment you say no I don't want the Contraceptive due to my religious views. Duh.

    February 10, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    And I am gong to blast Santorum for having no ideas for improving the economy.

    February 10, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. hypatia

    Tell Ayatollah Ricky to try to remember that he is in the US in 2012, not in Rome 1490. Then again, he would have cozied up to the Borgias really fast back then too!

    February 10, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. Politicagal

    GOP: we don't want people on welfare. People on welfare shouldn't be allowed to have multiple children that they can't afford to take care of. Oh we also want to allow religious groups the right to tell their followers that they do not have the choice to use contraceptives to prevent pregnancy.

    Oh the hypocracy of the GOP.

    February 10, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  18. Worldofcraze

    Santorum attacking Obama as if he was winning the race? I surely hope so! I was praying for Palin to win over these incompetent candidates but she didn't even run. But now we have a male Palin... This is going to be so much fun! Popcorn, beer... the works. Great entertainment!

    February 10, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. Trying 2 find the right Candidate

    can any republican or conservative tell me why i should vote republican without referring to Obama or his policies? can anyone layout a positive plan that republicans have 4 we the people just republican plans only no dem bashing only positive conservative ideas.

    February 10, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    A woman's right to healthcare???? Woman's healthcare is EVERYWHERE and many times for FREE. Go to Planned Parenthood and they'll take care of you no problem. Why do women expect the government to FORCE a church to pay for something that violates the church's teaching? Women are free to whatever they damn well please! Nobody is forcing ANYTHING on you or taking ANYTHING away from you.

    Leftists need to stop lying to people about this issue. Then again, that is their usual mode of operation otherwise they would get no support at all.

    February 10, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. Bessy

    @ cali girl-I couldn't have said it any better.
    I think it is about time that women start telling all of these men who want to control our lives to just plain " go to hell ". In my mind these men just want to control, control, control.

    February 10, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Only in America can conservatives stop women from receiving equal access to birth control and at the same time give men full access to male enhancement prescriptions.

    February 10, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Joi Gibson

    @ call girl – I agree. This is really irritating. Elderly celibate men telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies. So much for personal freedom. HYPOCRITES the entire Republican lot.

    February 10, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. stars

    Dude when you finish with the lies about the prez He will make you look like the devil you are. I am praying that god take you down before you bring more pain to your family the lies you keep telling is being taken out on children this is from christan.

    February 10, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. macrasta

    cali girl...high 5 to u

    February 10, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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