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. ThinkAgain

    "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."

    Because their idea of "freedom" is forcing everyone to believe what they do and behave the way they think they should.

    Ever notice all these nutjobs spout militarization and control and call it "freedom"? Scarey!

    February 11, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Joel

    Until Mr. Santorum and his kind demonstrate that they understand that opposition to ready dissemination of birth control leads to something they oppose even more – abortion, they have no right to an opinion on the subject. This includes the people who run a certain religious body that I shall not name. We should keep in mind that in a review of Santorum's book it was written of him that he has a fine 13th century mind. We don't need such a mind to occupy a position of importance in 21st century America. Those of us in Pennsylvania know this self-righteous man for whom he really is. That is why he lost his last election by such a wide margin. I cannot explain, however, how he got elected in the first place.

    February 11, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. CoJo

    are the republicans at the point of calling Obama anti-Christian? And some (a fair amount?) of the conservative are actually labeling him as "the anti-christ"? WOW, how low can a group of people go? Do the republicans REALLY believe that? I have yet to hear one of the candidates actually say it, but they seem to have come to the wall with it. All have talked about all of Obama's anti-Catholic actions/law/issues. I'm only aware of one (the contraception issue)... What are the others? After hearing Santorum, Gingrich, Romney call Obama anti-Catholic, she has point blank now said she would NOT vote republican (and she WAS thinking of Ronmey). But the narrowmindness of the republican's have convinced her Obama is the lesser of the evils. Even I (democrat) was entertaining Romney. No longer.
    By the way, the Catholic church and the republicans are only looking at one side the coin. They purposely ignore the fact the contraception issue is a pro-womens and pro-health care issue. But No, they kick/screem like a bunch of little kids when they see some they don't like. Intead of acting like adults and discussing it with the WH to get things change. And they wonder why everyone kicks and screams back at them? Maybe Obama handled it wrong (maybe), but the republicans (ALL OF THEM) should have discussed the issue with the WH as adults intest of starting a riot

    February 11, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    @ Doug.....

    people like you make me thank GOD that I vote Democrat.

    February 11, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Johnnn

    Coercion is code word for "only Republicans have the right to make people do what we want"...It's like to them, Freedom means "free to be a Christian' and Liberty means "we live in a land where the rich don't have to pay their fair share".

    February 11, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. dina

    Why is it that the Bishops who are men and the legislators who are men are making rules for women? Seems like a conflict there. And what about Viagra and Cealis? Are these going to be banned for men? Are vastectomy's going to be banned?And why does Santorum think he isn't ramming down his religion into everyone's throats. This man is so dangerous. Romney is clueless, Gingrich is hopeless, but Santorum is a dangerous man who wants to make religion the government of this country. He needs to go.
    women have a right to make decisions for thmeselves and not be the victims of old men's decisions.

    February 11, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. chill485

    And clearly Santoruma nd the GOP think you all don't have any right to healthcare unless you're wealthy enough to afford it.

    February 11, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. v1ze

    /facepalm

    Religion has no place in government. Notice how well it works in the middle east. GOP, Get Out Please.

    February 11, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. YaWimp

    This issue is now dead. The president has given compromise to satisfy every religion in the world. No one is complaining anymore. It is time to move on to more important topics.

    February 11, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. joet

    Yo Rick, give it up. You were a disaster when you were a Senator from Pennsylvania. That why you're "THE FORMER SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA". Say Good Night Rick!

    February 11, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Linda

    Ok, let's stop paying for his health care – and every other legislator who wants to ban women's health care rights and medicare. Geesh, what a hypocrite this guy is – he is against anything good for people unless they are living in the dark ages like he does.
    God Bless America that we will never elect the likes of this guy or his rivals. They are all nuts.

    February 11, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Scott

    Santorum took issue with the original policy (about contraceptives), saying the administration was trying to "force" insurance on something that only cost "a few dollars" and had "no economic need." In what world is contraception only a "few dollars"? And can you imagine the economic consequences of not having contraception available? Do the people who vote Republican ever stop to think that what Santorum and the other are proposing will affect their daily lives, like taking away the ability to get contraceptives at a reasonable price?

    February 11, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. katz

    This country was built on the backs of men and women who worked hard. No one gave them anything! Since when did hard work become something we should be ashamed of? Since when did making your own money and advancing in life become against the morals of our American way? Take a good look of what you have done to America in the last four years, keep it in your mind, because if Obama gets in another 4 years, your going to be wishing you were back here to fix it!

    February 11, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. rosaadriana

    Oh brother, why do people pay attention to him?

    February 11, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. Robrob

    Great way to alienate 50% of the voting population.

    February 11, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. Dieter Zerressen

    Why do some women and especially Republican women want to give this kind of control over to a bunch of old white men? What's the matter with women? Stand up for yourself. Tell those priests to go to hell. Don't give money to the RCC and don't vote Republican.

    February 11, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Wouldn't it be nice to have a religion that believes in equality in regards to gender. Wouldn't it be nice to have a religion that believes in acceptance and tolerance. Wouldn't it be nice to have a religion that applies to today and not the dark ages.

    I would never vote for a candidate that has more then three children.

    February 11, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Chumlee

    Hey Santorum – how much do you pay for you and your family for health care coverage?

    ZERO, zero, zero - you are a taxpayer dependent because you once served in the US Senate, and get life-long benefits –
    which is a total joke and needs to be changed.

    In orther words, you idiot, you do no know what you are talking about when the new health care law helps those who
    need insurance. Unlike you Santorum, you are a welfare-dependent taxpayer free-loader.

    February 11, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. bebie

    Funny how they whine about their rights yet have no problem denying gay people their rights.

    February 11, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. PTNY

    Yes, that "Just a few dollars" for this medication statement will most definitely come back to haunt him. The people Catholic Charities employees is mostly very low wage earners. Minimum wage or slightly above to start.
    What I find curious is how did they even find insurance that didn't cover thee pills in the first pace. It seems they have given their employees a very basic watered down insurance plan to start with.

    February 11, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Bob Ramos

    Folks....let's be realistic. This is a right wing nut case speaking to an audience composed or right wing wackos.

    February 11, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. sitnamud

    I'm neither republican nor democrat, But, if Obama is reelected, you will rue the day. He is the dumbest black man I have ever known. I feel he was sent here and cultured by the Muslims to destroy America. I will admit, in that respect he is doing a great job. Four more years of his administration and you will be eating rice.

    February 11, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    ...because life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are all in the bible : (

    February 11, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. ROGERL

    The only for sure is this administration is the WORST since Carter and maybe of all time. WAKE UP! These guys are wrong on economy, debt, health care, foreign policy. It's so sad that this great country is being torn apart by a guy who was a senator for 6 months.

    Pathetic and dangerous. Obama needs to voted out along with dozens of Senators and Congress.

    You like Europe? Then MOVE THERE.

    February 11, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. brobin

    Here is what the GOP is saying.. the government has no right to decide what the basic level of health care is. That right belongs to your boss and their religion. You as employees are slaves to the whims of your corporate overlord. Your only right is to quit your job and good luck finding another one. Isn't that financial coercion?

    I would much rather have elected officials set the basic rights of citizens that the Pope or my Boss.

    February 11, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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