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."

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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. Skeeve

    Obama also eats christian children. On a good authority I know that he prefers lightly fried and Michell likes them pickled.....

    February 11, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Randy, San Francisco

    Time for the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant Evangelicals to leave the Dark Ages enter into twenty first century.

    February 11, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Anonymous

    What is behind the move to take faith and GOD out of American Culture is beyond me. If you don't believe, that your choise, and if you do believe that is also your choice, Get the Government out of controling religion. Let the chips fall where they may. After all it is the Christians that more often than not support the need of those down trodden and give more to help the poor than any other group.
    ===================================

    Sonnie. No one is controlling who believes what. So, yes, I do agree with you that it is our choice to believe or not to believe. Unfortunately, many such as youself want others to believe exactly what YOU believe. That is fine when supporting a church position. However, we are a society of many and need to accomodate ALL, not just those who agree with you. As a society, we are beholden to the least amoung us, regardless of what church gives what donations to food shelves, or whatever it is you were trying to suggest is done by the faithful for the benevelonce of the "downtrodden". How about advocating for jobs for these folks - health care and learning skills - not just platitudes?

    February 11, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. brian in denver

    This "holier than thou" self-rightousness is nauseating. Santorum makes Romney look wildly worldly.

    February 11, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Mary Nelson

    And Santorum believes right comes from his primitive tribal sky god. I'm stunned and a little appalled at the way nobody is talking about how Santorum called gay rights acts "liberal intolerance". He thinks we should be more tolerant of bigotry.

    February 11, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. sensible

    @Sonnie 2
    What flavor was that kool-aid?

    February 11, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. rtbrno65

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

    So we're supposed to be scared of being empowered? People are so stupid that they can be "intimidated" into trust? I'm not sure what he's saying here.

    February 11, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    right now Rick is "preaching to the choir" so to speak because they are taking in every word he says, although the general electorate will think it's a crop of crap. He wants to say Obama is dictating what we do (I don't recall Obama ever saying he was the DECIDER that was another guy) yet Santorum wants to try to force his religious beliefs on ALL Americans. Ricky is a WHACKJOB and in a way I hope he DOES get the nomination so Obama can dictate to him on the nonsense he is putting out.

    February 11, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. Art Vandolay

    Republican party-what a joke list of candidates. And Santorum leads their list of nutjobs.

    February 11, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Nick

    It looks like Santorum doesn't want government to control of our lives but he wants religion to control our lives and that too only christian religion. What is the difference between him and Ayotollah Hoemini of Iran? He sounds scarier than Newt and Mitt.

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

    If rights are 'God given', then why did HE wait until 1776 to tell us?

    February 11, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Solinsd

    Government control of our lives. Does this mean that women have control of their lives when her and her doctor determine she should abort a child? Some people talk out of both sides of their mouth.

    February 11, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    Loosen your shorts Santorum.

    February 11, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. DaveinSC

    Once again ideology triumphs over common sense. These guys portray the impression that companies or insurers will give you whatever coverage you ask for. If that were so, their whole argument might hold a little water, but like most of their talking points, it's got more holes than a kitchen colander. I wonder if his daughters illness will affect her ability to get insurance once she's old enough to be on her own? If his opinion would change? It's much easier to be critical of something if it doesn't directly affect you or a family member.

    February 11, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. Nick

    These women who stand with him must have no self respect; This guy just wants women to be barefoot and pregnant.

    February 11, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. doug

    A Democrat born and created from the corrupt Daily Chicago Democrat thug machine, Surely Rick is being too kind as is even Rush and Coulter, time to speak about Obama how he speaks about Christians only being hoenst to his lies.

    February 11, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. aDunbar

    The Republicans have no problem lying about each other as they try to destroy, eliminate and kill their opposition. Why should we believe anything they have to say when they face their actual opponent, President Obama?

    February 11, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Like it or not, health care is not a RIGHT. It never has been in this country. You can argue the merits of it and there are good cases, but it certainly is not true. No emotional argument can trump it. The constitution, under the enumerated powers, states what the federal government has the power to do, and it clearly states that what is not mentioned in it, shall be left to the states. That's what makes Romneycare legal, and Obamacare unconstitutional. Also, forcing religious institutions to violate their religious edicts, in this case contributing to and facilitating birth control, is a clear violation of the first ammendment. I am pro-choice and atheist, but I still believe in following our guiding documents.

    February 11, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. JOE

    obam mer the clown

    February 11, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. The King

    Creating exchanges that will allow 30 million uninsured people to afford health insurance is "a government takeover of healthcare". Ensuring female employees of the Catholic church can acquire contraception through their insurance is "a war on religion".
    If the right wing has a legitimate argument, then why is it framed with blatant lies and fear mongering? Is it in fact designed to manipulate the obtuse, and emotionally fragile? Cause it don't work on the informed.
    Biden in '16!

    February 11, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. Healthcare

    Republicans make Obamacare out to be something akin to 1950s communism. US citizens were dying from the lack of insurance coverage – either too costly or denied – and/or it bankrupt families for the rest of their lives. All the republicans ever did, was ignore the issues. And now their big campaign is to repeal Obama-care? And then repeal Roe v Wade? This is their big strategy? Thank God Obama had the stones to do something and help people, including children get healthcare coverage, which in this country means- have access to medical care. I smell a landslide loss for repub party in Fall. If i were Romney, i would not want that footnote in history–the biggest loser ever.

    February 11, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Nick

    If Santorum is so against forcing people to pay for other people's health insurance, then why we, the taxpayers are paying for his and his family's health insurance? He should say that I don;t want to take the health insurance paid for by the tax payers (and many of them are not Christians).

    February 11, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. Flappy

    How dare the government take away organized religion's right to oppress people.

    February 11, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. 21k

    hey if i had all those kids, plus the one daughter that requires high-cost medical care, i would want a job where the taxpayers provide me with the best health-insurance plan in the known universe too.

    February 11, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. 21k

    hey if i had all those kids, i would want a job where the taxpayers provide me with the best health-insurance plan in the known universe too.

    February 11, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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