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. cali girl

    Truth, obviously you have no idea what you are talking about. Planned parenthood is there, yes, but as a working individual I am still expected to pay my fair share for any contraception. For my own personal healthcare plan that I pay for because very few companies are able to pay full premiums, should I have a choice for what I need?

    February 10, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. Donkey Party

    The day that Truth and Nothing but blah blah speaks, or even understands the truth, is the day I'll become a Republican. Funny thing is, neither will ever happen.

    February 10, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. george of the jungle

    well it is about time all the gals get togeather and vote these repo nut jobs out. This country needs to move forward not backward. While people are looking for jobs or to get out of debts thes clowns are using a 60 year old practice to rant about. Forward Obama/Biden 2012

    February 10, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Independent Voters

    Obama going to win 4 more years. These candidates are falling apart and I cant wait until November come so I can vote for Obama.

    February 10, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. ART

    Ok its official he is the male version of that crazy woman Michelle Bauchman

    February 10, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. logicnLA

    When this man and ever candidate give up their government funded for life healthcare and start paying for it, they can open their mouths. Until then- shut up and let the Americans that need healthcare, get it. My experience so far is the only ones that oppose Healthcare Reform either have it through city, state or federal coverage or employer paid. Let one person that is not a millionaire or covered by someone else tell me they want to pay for insurnce at insurance company rates for individuals, and I may reconsider my position.

    February 10, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. Truth is a perspective

    @Truth and nothing but the truth

    No healthcare is free. Healthcare expansion is about access. Do you think most Americans live down the block from a Planned Parenthood? No, they do not. Have you ever walked into a Planned Parenthood as a woman looking for birth control? How do you expect that woman feels going to a clinic that is so highly stigmatized and politicized? It is not always easy to exercise a right when other people tell you you're going to hell for it. Expanding contraceptive services will allow that woman to go to her family doc, her regular ob/gyn and will make it more likely that she obtain the healthcare services she deserves.

    February 10, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Roger

    This man is one of the main reasons the Republican party is in disarray. Perhaps by 2016 the Republican party will have gotten their act together and have a viable candidate to run for POTUS. But right now, it is imperative that President Obama be re-elected along with a Democratic majority in the House and Senate to implement back-to-work elements (roads, bridges, etc) put forth in the American Jobs Act. The Republicans are offering nothing but the same failed trickle down ideas. Mr. Santorum evidently believes he is the Messiah who will save America. The man is delusional. Obama/Biden 2012.

    February 10, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Monbois

    Great speech, Santorum! Way to open by criticizing President Obama for guaranteeing rights!

    What a clueless jerk!!!

    (Santorum, not President Obama.)

    February 10, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. ST

    I do not stop keeping a smile on my face realising the trap GOP has fallen into. I thought you are smart, but sorry and unfortunately you are not. If I were you I could had let this issue go. Instead you kept pounding and pounding on the issue without realising that you are digging your own hole. I respect all women. God made them special that forgetting, takes them centuries and centuries.

    February 10, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    cali girl - This topic is getting really irritating! Why are men discussing what is a woman's right?
    =====================================================================
    Because leftists have misrepresented the problem as a woman's health issue when it is NOT. Smoke, mirrors and deceit....

    February 10, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama has made these Republican candidates appear to be "bipolar" because they sure can't focus on anything, they're all over the place about nothing.

    February 10, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Stephen in Bedford, Texas

    I know a lot of staunch conservative who want nothing more than to see President Obama defeated. I don't think any of them feel very confident about any of the GOP contenders. Given the state of the country you would have thought the GOP could have cake walked to the White House, however, with their current line up they have a tough row to hoe. They should have toned down the rhetoric and just coasted, but too many of them saw stars in their eyes and got stupid.

    February 10, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Canuck

    Thank God I'm an atheist...

    February 10, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. i want a mega rich Mormon who hides money overseas, and a master tax evader as president

    Damn I wish I could vote today! !! 9 more months of this! !!!
    Obama 2012, hurry up please Jesus! !

    February 10, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Dixie Independent voter

    This is a great photo of the Adams Family. Of course the real Mortica did insist on equal rights for women. Santorum is a miserable and pathetic man.

    February 10, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. Tex71

    How can you take Santorum seriously when he claims women soldiers are a dead weight in combat? I would pay hard cash to see Santorum competing against a platoon of female GIs in ANY physical event. The laughs would be almost as rewarding as his apology afterwards.

    February 10, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Perspecticus

    It certainly is amazing how cavalierly the GOP throws around charges of treason against the president these days. Even more incredible is how often today's journalists let such outrageous charges go without comment. What is not particularly amazing is how virulent the reaction from the GOP will be* should anyone ever suggest- let alone openly state, as today's GOP does- that the next Republican president has done anything untoward.

    *We know this is the case based on the reaction to criticism of the last administration.

    February 10, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Rudy NYC
    Truth wrote:
    Why do women expect the government to FORCE a church to pay for something that violates the church's teaching?
    ----
    Why do conservatives expect people who are forced to comply and conform to their religion and not object
    ======================================================================================
    Rudy, you never, ever answer the questions because they point out the deceit in your arguments. And even the question you respond with is deceitful. The Catholic church does not force anybody, Catholic or otherwise, to do ANYTHING. Why is the leftist Obama government always forcing their healthcare beliefs on the American people and now the Catholic church?

    February 10, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Larry L

    Conservatives claim to want small government yet they want religion to influence every decision. When JFK ran for office people expressed fears that the Pope might too strongly influence our government. I thought that ridiculous at the time. Now I'm not so sure... Santorum thinks the Earth is less than 6000 years old. He can't possibly be given control of our Executive Branch when he can't get past that foolish bit of religious dogma.

    February 10, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Jim in San Mateo

    So according to Rick, only wealthy people should have access to health care?

    As for the contraception question, it's already the law in 26 or so states. Why the uproar. It's been well settled in the courts than, even as a religious-affiliated organization that serves the public has to play by the same rules as non-religious-affiliated organizations. It's not rocket science. To do otherwise, is enforcement of a religion and that argument has long been settled by the US Supreme Court.

    February 10, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. Jane

    Can any of the Santorum supporters explain to us how it is not the Height of hipocracy and moral double-dealing for him to rant about abortion being 'illegal' (which it isn't by the way, for an ex Congress member he is sadly deficient in US. policy) and 'immoral' and 'wrong' for ANYONE to have an abortion; but it's not illegal, immoral or wrong for his wife (god bless her) to have had one? This is not vicious gossip; this is public record. Mr. Santorum's reasoning at that time was that his wife could have died and his children would have been without a mother. Laudable reasoning – too bad he refuses to grant the identical exception to Every Other Woman In The World who's been or will be in this situaiton. Shame on him and shame on all those of like mind.

    February 10, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Hark

    Rights do not come from government...they are afforded to us simply by birth. If our government interferes with our religious right, they are wrong and are stepping beyond their authority. They are interfering with the rights and beliefs of the Catholic church. Obama needs to stay away from this as it is not in his power to give or take away or tweak the rights of this religious organization . I'm sure Planned Parenthood can provide workers of Catholic hospitals all the bc they need.

    February 10, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. jaywing

    "Truth..." you've done little on your posts to the Ticker these last couple of weeks but make accusations which have no merit OR Truth. You're obviously an angry white male who is sexist, racist and a religious bigot. You, and those who think like you, need to step back and seriously examine your values and intentions. This is a free, democratic society of enlightened people, who choose to be so bold as to compromise some of what we want to move forward and become a truely civilized 21st century nation. We wil not be stopped by those like you who think the entire country should conform to your twisted, antiquated 12th century belief system based on old mythologies and falsehoods.

    February 10, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. Jack

    Sweater Guy and the religious conservatives want their women bare-foot and pregnant. Let the male religious leaders decide what is good for the little women. Sounds a lot like Iran. Hey–when will they be introducing the Christian Burka?

    February 10, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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