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. Lisa P

    Does Santorum ever actually listen to himself? "How dare the government make a new right available! Only God can create rights!" Oh? Like life (healthcare), liberty (freedom from religious coercion) and the pursuit of happiness (a.k.a. promotion of the common welfare - see healthcare and freedom from religious coercion above, along with regulation of commerce, environmental protection, consumer protections, civil rights...). If Santorum thinks these things just fall out of the sky like God's grace then he really ought to read the rest of the Preamble to that Constitution he claims to love so much. If his knowledge of the Bible is as poor as his knowledge of our Constitution then he is surely not heading to a good place when he dies.

    February 10, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. Hap

    Truth is always on here spewing his right wing nonsense, always. Day and night, night and day. I'd assume he's out of work and that's why he's so bitter, but george Bush put us in this situation so that can't be right. Could it really be that he's so rich he doesn't have to work, like Romney, that would explain why: He's all for the party that is embraced by the very people who care nothing for this country. They are the polluters, the banks, the investment companies, big insurance, and the health care industry. All to people who's greed has led us to this place. Truth please explain to me how it is okay to make a profit off other peoples pain and suffering? You see I think health care is so expensive because too many people are making too much money on it. If you need proof see Santorums $360,000 salary to consult 6 hospitals. But your side says to limit their profits is socialist, to the point where at a debate your people cheered for let them die, really. See I'm a Christian and my Jesus wouldn't be in favor of profits over the poor. Guess yours is.

    February 10, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. Gurgi

    ".....Obama comes through again, and shows his Solomonic smarts....." All I can say is, Wow! Someone has been back to the obama punchbowl to many times.

    February 10, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Taran

    @truth, spot on as usual. Also, as usual, the liberals are twisting the issue. It is about Government mandating what religion will do. Nothing to do with women's rights or women's health.

    February 10, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Hark

    @ Hap- Your democratic friends like Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Maxine Waters, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi etc.. had as much to do with this mess we are in as did George Bush, maybe more. So why not include this information in your interpretation rather than just the info that is convenient to support your lopsided bias.

    February 10, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. bearced

    This issue was brought up by the Catholic church, it is not a religious issue it never is with them. It is all about money that is the true religion of the catholic church.

    February 10, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    Truth, how many times have you heard in Church the word "obey"? Obedience is part and parcel of any faith, so your arguement that no church or religion compells one to do anything is ridiculous. Your blind, reflexive hatred of the president leads you to contradict your own arguements, time after time. It is both funny and sad to watch someone who cannot make a consistent arguement. so, thanks for the entertainment.

    February 10, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Yikes!

    @ Truth .... (which isn't)

    I'm actually starting to fee sorry for you. It must be hard to go through life with so much hate and disdain for others. The truth is that we all have to go along with some things that we don't agree with in life, especially if it benefits the greater good of people. It's called humanity. Give it a try sometime.

    February 10, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. duke5343

    @truth- I have been in your position, trying to tell people the FACTS who DONT, Won't and refuse to believe Facts, they follow the drumming Kenyan who says ANYTHING to buy a vote – Ron Reagan was right A LIBERAL know Nothing about EVERYTHING

    February 10, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Jay

    This guy pretty much proved he's lesser than dirt when the mother of a 5 year old boy with cancer asked how she is supposed to pay to help keep her son alive.

    I've NEVER understood the overt contradiction of "Conservatives". They huff and puff about abortion. They claim to be "pro-life". Oh really? Yet you are for the death penalty. Yet you do nothing to make healthcare available to all, and turn completely around when health insurance companies deny that very child the ability to pay for care that may save his life. And say free-market capitalism is the root of all good in this country, even when billions are being made at the expense of genuine suffering in the health industry?

    If there is a God, of whom you so highly believe as a Christian, you really think he/she wants you to stand on the side of insurance companies or a common good to provide healthcare to everyone?

    Yes Mr. Santorum, the Google search is correct in my eyes.

    February 10, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    so since when did the far right which mainly consist of WASP start to care so much about the Catholic Church??? I guess if you can ry to use it as a wedge issue they can care about ANYTHING. Heck for years most WASP called Catholics "idol worshippers" and don't think they have stopped doing it.

    February 10, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Hark wrote:

    Your Democratic friends like Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Maxine Waters, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi etc.. had as much to do with this mess we are in as did George Bush, maybe more.....
    ---------------------
    Thanks for saying "Democratic friends", instead of displaying the common conservative cheap shot, "Democrat friends." It shows that you have original thoughts. That's a good thing. What you wrote, that's a bad thing. The Republicans ran both the House and Senate for a decade prior to 2007, and the White House for six years.

    The economy started tanking in 2006 when the mortgage fiasco and foreclosure crisis began to raise their ugly heads. New construction nose dived in 2006, which was the real warning sign that the economy was headed downward within a couple of years. None of the people you cited were in a position to stop the policies that the Republicans were enacted, not unless they resorted to the stall and delay tactics currently being used by Republicans.

    February 10, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. AZ Woman

    Dear Rick, 1) Do you REALLY think you will get ANY female votes, other than hard core right wing "bare foot, in the kitchen, and pregnant votes" with this ideology? I invite you to come INTO this century. We are women and hear us roar! 2) You would do better by staying away from us, our bodies, and our healthcare, and 3) it's not about forcing ANYONE to do anything, it's about the insurance companies and what THEY will cover.

    P.S. Aren't you the guy that took his dead child home to "bond" with its live siblings? Talk about creepy!

    February 10, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. PaulC

    I personally believe that health care should be a right. The ranting Santorum, Gingrich, Romney receive taxpayer provided healthcare but they feel that they are entitled and you are not.
    They rant about getting gov. out of your lives but the first thing they want to do is patrol your bed room and decide who you can marry. Truly the party of NO.

    February 10, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Joe

    This guy is a hypocrite with a capital H. He wants to coerce people to follow his religious beliefs via legislation. Enough of this theocratic arrogance!

    February 10, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Gurgi

    """.....if it benefits the greater good of people. It's called humanity....""" That is why so many laws and rules and policies are made for the benefit of a small minority despite the will of the majority???? A very lopsided picture in that.

    February 10, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Hark

    @AZ Woman- you are way out of line with that last statement.....Shame on you!!!

    February 10, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    How many kids does this guy need? I guess we know what he likes to do for fun.

    February 10, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. The Lion that Roared

    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."
    No economic need for whom? Ask the 45 million Americans with no or very limited health insurance if there is no economic need in this area. Santorum is arrogant, out of touch and definitely in need of a reality check.

    February 10, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

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

    Typical Republican, projecting all his own bad behavior on others. These GOPers are pathetic!

    February 10, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. AZ Woman

    @Hark, not out of line, is it not the truth? Did he NOT take the child home? How many people do that? You can shame me as much as you want.

    February 10, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. Kathleen Farrell

    This isn't about churches, it's about hospitals affiliated with churches. They hire people of all religions, their goal is financial and they receive public funding. And while they subscribe to church teachings, they have their own management.

    February 10, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    @Hark: @AZ Woman- you are way out of line with that last statement.....Shame on you!!!

    Why is she out of line? It's fact, and something that Santorum himself has talked about. Hark, you must be one of those people who buries their head in the sand. The GOP is counting on you to once again be duped into voting against your own self-interest.

    February 10, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain

    @Gurgi: """.....if it benefits the greater good of people. It's called humanity....""" That is why so many laws and rules and policies are made for the benefit of a small minority despite the will of the majority???? A very lopsided picture in that.

    The majority of Americans and Catholics support the use of birth control; THAT is the will of the people.

    And while you're supposedly looking out for this will, please explain to me why the GOP refuses to raise taxes on the rich, when 62% of American millionaires and billionaires, and a majority of more modest income Americans, want those taxes to be raised?

    February 10, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Gurgi wrote:

    """.....if it benefits the greater good of people. It's called humanity....""" That is why so many laws and rules and policies are made for the benefit of a small minority despite the will of the majority???? A very lopsided picture in that
    -----------–
    Lopsided picture? That's what happens when your world view is twisted.

    February 10, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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