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. 21k

    will santorum be eliminating all taxpayer-funded health insurance for congress and the white house if he gets in? with all those kids, i doubt it.

    February 11, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. doug

    Its simple, if you don't want to lose our rights of freedom of religion and the right to bear arms, in addition to free speech without consequences of harm then you have an obligation to vote Republican. Listen to Obama talk of his hate for Christians, saying they cling to their guns and religion. He clearly makes it known that the goal of his second term is to take away these rights from all Americans, including those he considers sub-human, every American right of center that he has called the enemy (interview with Univision).

    February 11, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    The headline should say: "Jesus Blasts Santorum for Hating the Middle-Class, poor workers and the sick"

    February 11, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. jilli

    It's kind of ironic hearing a staunch "Christian" like Santorum railing against providing for the sick – I thought that was a basic tenant of religious teachings.

    I agree with the comment that Santorum has a brilliant mind for the 13th century – too bad for him it's the 21st century and the US is not a theocracy.

    February 11, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. REG in AZ

    They are vocal ... without conscience, without real merit, without true sincerity, only with ambition, desire and aggressive determination to dominate, regardless of any real value to the people. Should they ever stick to the real issues, to the real concerns of the people, instead of their trumped up efforts to excite and distract people, then it would be totally obvious from their history that they fail to responsibly represent the majority (99%) and instead just cater to "the few" (1%), who strongly support them and dictate to them., They literally want to return to "more of the same", Bush-Cheney style, that cost all but "the few" so greatly. If the voters fail to see the self-serving deception, refuse to be conned and reject the "puppet" candidates, then we are very apt to be returned to "more of the same" that continually pushes this country to be a two-class society with "the few" competing in having it all and the majority struggling to survive – don't believe it, just check your current status against what it was thirteen years ago.

    February 11, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. RocketJL

    I believe that we all have a right to good health care. However, it is also very clear that the death panels in Obamacare will prevent many of us from getting the care we need. Organ transplants are already affected and small businesses will no longer be able to afford employee health care. The truth is in the pudding, not the bias news media.

    February 11, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. Mike

    Rick Santorum, Master of Distortion, Dispenser of Paranoia, Fear, and Just Plain Made-Up S__t. Please, please get the nomination. I, and millions of Americans, want to finally have this argument face to face, in public, with the voters deciding one way or the other. Yes, let's discuss "coercion", "government control of our lives", a "right to health care being shoved down Americans' throats (I especially like THAT whopper). Let's DO talk about how the president attempts to "dictate what lights to turn on and what cars to drive." Yeah. Let's have this absurd argument. I don't like the Party Of The Aggrieved's chances.

    February 11, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Balls McGhee

    um...i thought rights were granted to us by the government. that is the way it works in every country. Rick, are you mental?

    February 11, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. Paul

    Most Catholics, including myself, would never vote for Santorum. It's the brainwashed ones, unfortunately ike my Dad, who will. President Obama will have my vote this year. Catholic for Jesus and Obama.

    February 11, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Jose

    This looks like the Adams family....only scarier! Imagine how wonderfully different the world would be if a child were not instructed on relgion before an age of reason. Morons like Santorum want to take us back to the catacombs.

    February 11, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Surfer George

    I too "BLAME" President Obama for upholding the Founding Father's intentions.
    I "BLAME" President Obama for upholding the Constitution and for protecting the rights of our Citizens before the "rights" of ANY Religion.

    February 11, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. Peace

    This issue make my head spin and raise my anger again about Catholic churches. They should thank god that the Gov. did not sue them during their scandal of child abuse. Didn't they see the scandal in Pennsylvania how it was dealt with!

    February 11, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Paul

    Quote from RocketJL
    " believe that we all have a right to good health care. However, it is also very clear that the death panels in Obamacare will prevent many of us from getting the care we need. Organ transplants are already affected and small businesses will no longer be able to afford employee health care. The truth is in the pudding, not the bias news media."

    Death panels? It's sad that you can't read and understand the Health care law. You really should not watch the biased Fox news media.

    February 11, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Matt

    "It's about government control of our lives and it's got to stop." - If he grows a pair and begins saying this about the drug war, I'll vote for him.

    February 11, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. doug

    "I believe that we all have a right to good health care. However, it is also very clear that the death panels in Obamacare will prevent many of us from getting the care we need. Organ transplants are already affected and small businesses will no longer be able to afford employee health care. The truth is in the pudding, not the bias news media."

    To every Democrat speaking the truth and going by the facts makes you guilty of a hate crime. I cannot image supporting a political party that wants to punish Americans for being honest and contributing to society, but that is your modern day Democrat party. It all started with the great society, a counter to the civil rights act, an evil unequalled in AMerica.

    February 11, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Andrew

    Rick is just another crazy , confused religious wack job trying to push theocracy as a way to govern a 21st century world. Sorry to burst his bubble but.. that's never gonna happen. Religion in theory sounds all family and community friendly but in the end all they want is your damn money. Why doesn't the church liquidate it's assets and really help the people in need instead of building large monuments to a GOD, whom probably is confused by our obsession of the physical materials over the spiritual. Plus religion needs to stop going to other countries and forcing their beliefs on individuals and manipulate them into doing horrible things in the name of god. Religion is not an answer its a disease.

    February 11, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. CoJo

    got a question for ya all, they seem to like all this negatiave attention. They think this is energizing their group and make them stand out. Makes me wonder if we ignore gnats, they won't bug us so much. Make sense?

    February 11, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Emma

    How is the control of contraceptive use not big government? Does the Constitution imply whether a legislative body can make this decision? It would seem so totalitarian for that to be the case.

    February 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. vicobt

    Yes, health care is a right. It is also responsible for the government to want a healthy workforce. It's funny how all those with wonderful health care plans, ie the tax payer paid plans such as our politicians are so quick to strike down something so important to society. Education and Health are always on the chopping block and being the most important those are two rights that have max impact on the poor. I guess that's why they are so easy to deny.

    February 11, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. nauticalman

    One would think that Mr Santorum and his family have health care. God forbid that it be a right that others should have.
    How dare you call yourself a Christian. Actually I am thinking of changing my party affiliation to the Know Nothing party, formerly known as the GOP, so I can vote for you in the primary here. . What the Republican Party has sowed, so shall it reap, to paraphrase a bit. Nominating one of these extremists should be the death knell of what was a viable, reasonable alternative for some to vote for.. Truly feel sorry for the moderates left in the GOP, what few there are!

    February 11, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Dave

    If you take away all the "p.c." garbage it comes down to this – if you want it, pay for it. You want to have sex, pay to get it up or pay to keep your womb empty. It's your choice.
    As an outsider looking in, I caution the Dems to be careful what you wish for. The four GOP candidates are fighting for their spot right now, so they are playing only to the politics of their party. Whomever is elected has plenty of ammo to slam Obama once June has come and gone and the attention is turned towards him. If you don't believe me, watch Canada and the Middle East make countless billions through partnerships with China for something your president had the chance, but by choice did not scoop up for the better of your country.

    February 11, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. independent

    He wants to recreate the white America of the 50s and early 60s. 'We have to treat our delicate women (with all their hormonal issues) differently from men.' This use to be code for, barefoot, pregnant and stay-at-home. What does Santorum's wife do?

    February 11, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. LMC

    It is so interesting to hear these candidates whose income allows them top medical care proclaim that US citizens don't have a "right" to health care. Especially Santorum, whose youngest child's fragile medical condition requires a great deal of medical care. How does he think the average middle or lower class family could afford the same care without health insurance? Of course our "rights" come from the government. Without anti-discrimination laws would we have equal rights laws for varous cultural groups and women? As a US citizen I am ashamed that our citizens do not have the access to health care that citizens in other developed countries such as Canada and Germany have. If our employer does not offer a good health care plan, we are sunk! As far as covering contraceptives for women, birth control pills vary from about $180/year to $600/year. That's not a few dollars a month Mr. Santorum! Oh, and you can bet that those organizations that don't want to cover contraceptives will cover Viagra and similar medications for men at a cost of about $2200/100 tablets.

    February 11, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain

    @Truth and yada yada: "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."

    This statement proves that you get all your information from Fox. Hannity said this the other day – and it's an absolute lie!

    The only contraception Planned Parenthood provides free of charge is information on abstinence and coitus interruptus. For everything else, there is a charge. The amount can vary depending on the woman's income (sliding scale) and by locale (situation of the local economy). This is done so that as many women as possible have access to affordable contraception, the use of which lowers the rate of unplanned pregnancy (and fewer abortions) and betters the overall health of women.

    Before you post again, "truth," I dare you to do some actual research and not just copy and paste the latest Fox talking points ...

    February 11, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain

    @Balls McGhee: "um...i thought rights were granted to us by the government. that is the way it works in every country."

    I beg to differ, but in theocracy's like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, "rights" are granted by the ruling clerics.

    Which better illustrates the vision Ricky has of our country: a theocracy, with all the power and control in the hands of a few and religious police running around keeping the masses in line.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    February 11, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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