Santorum blasts Obama for 'coercion'
February 10th, 2012
11:41 AM ET
2 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."

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. BinPA

    Whether you like Obama or not, any woman who votes for any of the current crop of Republican candidates is voting against her own self-interest.

    Mysogyny runs rampant through this group. And to take their cues from the 'good ol' boys' group that is the papacy....
    Remember....contraception was not a "sin" until Vatican II in 1968!!!!!

    I was brought up in the Roman Catholic tradidtion and left due to all the hypocracy, mysogyny, and flat out inconsistencies and inaccuracies within doctrine.

    February 11, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  2. paul

    Santorum is an extremist that would force his "conservative" value and religious values on the country. I could just imagine him as president saying, "you must attend church three times a week or be subject to penalty". He is a bit scary when he gets on his rants.

    February 11, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. sensible

    His name says it all.....he belongs in a sanitorium!

    February 11, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  4. sensible

    The pope believes in global warming and evolution.....what is wrong with this counrty?

    February 11, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. Ourania

    What an idiot!!!! He wants religion to run our life , take us back to the 16th century!!!!!! Keep talking !!!!!

    February 11, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. Thinkergal

    Yes, Mr. Santorum, I have the right to defy and dispise everything you stand for.

    February 11, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. Annie, Atlanta

    Another day, another blame laid on President Obama. What a surprise. Maybe instead of telling us all the things they're against, even the made up ones, the Republican candidates could tell us what they are for, and what their plans for our future will be. Interesting concept, no? This toxic hate filled rhetoric is starting to sicken me. Does the GOP have nothing else? Honestly?

    February 11, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. Anonymous

    This guy is truly scary!

    February 11, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. carly

    Santorum is just the clown of the week

    February 11, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. fixamerica

    Santorum scares me!

    February 11, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Harry Baxter

    They idea coming from a GOP Presidential candidate that President Obama would coerce anyone is so rediculous that it shouldn't even appear in a news story. The GOP has been engaged in a reign of terror against this good man since he ran for President in 2008. In a country less civil than the USA, many of these lies would result in charges of treason against the person making them.

    February 11, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. sensible

    @Art.....no, they are inbred brother and sister!

    February 11, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Puddin

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would be opposed to everyone having health insurance. If that was the case, the taxpayers would not be saddled with paying for those who show up at the ER without health insurance. I cannot see where that is unreasonable; it certainly does not qualify as being "shoving it down our throats."

    February 11, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. Al Russell

    This is whole issue is a political smoke screen. The initial bill simply provided that institutions and companies "not strictly serving a faith based purpose" (this is an important distinction) can't deny their employees the care everyone else is entitled to through insurance. Institutions that serve the public in a NON-RELIGIOUS PURPOSE, i.e hospitals, etc.. must allow their employees to access basic health care necessities such as disease and birth control. Catholic employees are not forced to purchase birth control. The institution is welcome to stick to a totally religious purpose and not bleed into the public arena. Of course, that would mean absolutely no assistance in any way from the publicly funded government. Hospitals would need to opt out of Medicare and Medicaid, which would be difficult to do. In any case, a compromise has been met that no longer requires religious institutions to be responsible at all for anyone's birth control, and they're STILL upset that people can make their own choices in the matter??? What? I guess the Church should stop giving anyone a paycheck then, since they might choose to spend it in a way contrary to the Church's teachings.

    February 11, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. sensible

    @Hark.....but the 'double-edge sword' of all the posters saying Planned Parenthood can provide birth control is the fact that the reptili'con's are trying their hardest to outlaw and defund this organization!

    February 11, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. Sanity

    I just don't get how stupid these guys are! Do the repubs really understand any issues?

    February 11, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. KeithTexas

    Americans may not have a right to health care but we do deserve protection from hte Insurance Companies that run healthcare in America. They have made healthcare out of reach for many of us.

    So, protect us from the Insurance companies and we could take care of our own healthcare

    February 11, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Wisconsin Thought

    for years when we had insurance I needed birth control pills to control excessive bleeding and pain from menstruation, I had by fallopian tubes tied after my second child. I had to have a note from my doctor to get my prescription paid for attesting to the fact that I was not using Birth Control pills to prevent pregnancy. I had to provide this information to my husband's employer in order to have it covered. It was and is an outrage, yet a man wants Viagra and he gets it as often and as much as he wants. No questions asked!

    February 11, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. John B.

    I'm one of those people that feel everyone should have a right to healthcare. I wish Santorum would realize that I also have a right to not believe his religion.

    February 11, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. 2-face

    GOP fools don't want goverment health care...fine lets start by taking there's!!!

    February 11, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. ChuckB

    The right to health care is a bad thing? It seems to be as essential as the right to bear arms.

    February 11, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. cathstar

    Every American should have the right to health care - including contraceptives. Not everyone wants seven children like Santorum has. He is a total religious zealot and the Catholic and evangelical churches are the practitioners of "coercion" and are totally opposed to women's rights.

    February 11, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. mo

    The United States of America shows how backward it really is every time there is an election. Religion is something personal between God and an individual, not something to be rammed down others throats. The US is an embarrassment to God.

    February 11, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Katie

    Let Santorum show the least bit of compassion for women and women's rights and perhaps he'll be taken seriously. ALL women should have access to birth control pills in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Doesn't he want to prevent abortions??? (Unless of course, it's his wife who needs, one then it's ok, even if it's late-term.)

    February 11, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. Wvazoe

    @truth
    'Me thinks thou dost protest too much' . That's it ! Truthandnothing.. Is a closet liberal! I knew it!

    February 11, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15