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. The Real Tom Paine

    No, Hark, its you who are out of line. Its a fact that Santorum has an obcession with abortion and gays while cheerfully ignoring the consequences of his policy decision and the decisions he's made in his personal life. That decision, to bring a corpse home, is just plain wierd.

    February 10, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Do a little research, folks. 28 states already have on their books this provision that health insurance companies must cover birth control prescriptions and devices, including many Red states like Georgia (not exactly a hotbed of liberalism).

    Where was all the uproar from Santorum, the GOPers about all these states waging war on religious freedom?

    Exactly. They couldn't care less, and are only making noise now because they're desperate to find a way to turn people against President Obama, whose policies have brought unemployment down, given tax cuts to 95% of American, and are moving our country forward. Bin Laden is dead; GM is alive. Troops are out of Iraq and we're winding down in Afghanistan.

    You can't argue with success – so the GOP fabricates all these "culture war" issues to stir up their base. PATHETIC!

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

    These so-called "Christians" really suffer from a persecution complex. Do anything they don't like or anything they don't agree with, and suddenly it's a "war on religion."

    Heck, religious organizations don't pay taxes, even though they use our infrastructure and are protected by our military. There are more churches in this country than any other denomination.

    And yet they still complain. What a bunch of losers!

    February 10, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Doug C.

    The ruling doesn't tell any individual that they have to use birth control, but that insurance companies and other institutions need to provide coverage IF you choose to use contraceptives. Government is doing what government should, make companies treat clients fairly. Its republicans that want to limit individual rights (voting, choice, etc.) bit increase the rights of companies to exploit. Oh wait, "corporations are people", my confusion.

    February 10, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. AZ Woman

    Thank you Think and Tom...There is NO shame in the truth. If the GOP would give us a MODERATE, us independents might think about voting for them. But they lost it when they kicked Huntsman to the curb. OK, he had some baggage, but these guys that are left? Simply laughable.

    February 10, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Bob in Boston

    "It's not about contraception. It's about government control of our lives and it's got to stop." – Rick Santorum

    If you really believe that, Little Ricky, why do you want government to control the personal lives of anyone who wants access to birth control, and to control who gets to marry whom? Seems like you oppose government control everywhere except our bedrooms. (One more thing - your statement about people not having a right to healthcare will come back to bite you.)

    February 10, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Obama has proven over and over that he is a clear and present danger to ALL of our Constitutionally protected freedoms and needs to be removed in November. To Obama, our Constitution might as well be a roll of tiolet paper because THAT is exactly how he treats it.

    February 10, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. sayer

    Yep, he said Americans doin't have a right to health care. I guess it's a luxury for the rich then. Man, these guys just don't get it!

    February 10, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Jack

    So, this is the best and the brightest the GOP has to offer? Hmmm. Sad. I'll pass.

    February 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. AZ Woman

    @Truth who said..."Obama has proven over and over that he is a clear and present danger to ALL of our Constitutionally protected freedoms"

    Prove it, and provide where you got it from. I dare you.

    February 10, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. A Southern Lady

    Santorum is a far-right, religious fanatic. Should he ever get anywhere near the White House, women's reproductive rights would take a monumental hit. He is opposed to all birth control, against abortion even as the result of rape. We must never place this man at the head of our government.

    February 10, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Hark

    . @TRTP- At the time, as reported on ABC News, experts in the mental health field felt that act was a "healthy thing to do". But all you experts haver found something bad or creepy to infuse into the act. Let it go...this has no place in the campaign. God forbid any of you suffer the pain of losing a child .

    February 10, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. tumbleweed

    Truth, how do you force a health care "belief"? The Dr Spock/vulcan method of putting your fingers on someone's forehead and putting it in their mind?

    February 10, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    To Truth and Nothing But the Truth: You said "Obama has proven over and over that he is a clear and present danger to ALL of our Constitutionally protected freedoms and needs to be removed in November. To Obama, our Constitution might as well be a roll of tiolet paper because THAT is exactly how he treats it."

    Wrong president. That was Bush. Obama knows what a Constitution is, what it's for, why we have it, and why we respect it. Bush treated it like toilet paper.

    February 10, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    Funny statement about venerating the Constitution, Truth, since your lot want to add amendments for everything from marriage to flag-burning. To the GOP, the constitution is something they trot out when convenient, and deny to anyone they don't like, which is about 99% of the country.

    February 10, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. K Denver

    I think it's funny to hear the cries about "religious freedom " from these fox news transplants on here. I'm so sure you all work at at Catholic churches/organizations and are just terrified over having to give some woman a name of a place she can get birth control. Is it because you think if you do that you won't get into heaven? Don't worry, your racism/sexism/homophobia/xenophobia plus you not really caring about the poor and less fortunate has already pretty much ensured you're not getting in anyway.

    February 10, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Rick Former Marine, LIBERAL

    I really hate the GOP. We're supposed to admire Santorum for screaming that health care isn't a right. What do you do with people with no money that come in for treatment? Tell them to go away and die? This is the Christian view? Have you noticed health care isn't fixing itself? That counting on big business to regulate itself is STUPID? BP makes huge profits every quarter. What are they doing for the rank and file conservatives or non-conservatives? NOTHING.

    February 10, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    Question: which side has offered more amendments to the Constitution in the last 30 years? Conservatives. Were any of these amendments to extend rights to any sector of our society? None, they were things like defining marriage as between a man and woman, flag-burning, and a balanced budget amendment. Conservatives have the same rates of divorce, they believe corporations are people and have free speech rights, but the right of an idiot to burn a flag is somehow not free speech, and they have not been able to balance a budget because they are too busy giving money to epople who already are doing well. That is the world the conservatives live in, where the constitution is an inconvenience until a rich person, chuch or coropration needs help wriggling out of their obligations.

    February 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    ricky, ricky, ricky, you are the flavor of the week/month. They don't want the flip flopper and you are the only one who hasn't been on top for a few days. BTW
    "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."
    At least healthcare helps us. You religious crazy beliefs would take us to the days of the stone age (see Afghanistan) and how backwards those people are. Wait, wait, we have people like that here in the states, look to the south!

    February 10, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. American

    Oooo, look at the shiny object over there...quick, divert
    In the great words, "It's the economy stupid."

    This whole thing is ridiculous. Ignore the glaring fact that this was originally a Republican idea. In fact, many have almost the exact same law in place, including the uber conservative Georgia.

    I guess when the GOP candidates have nothing else to offer other than the same ol' tax cuts for the rich & privatization of Medicare that does not work, it must divert to absurd wedge issues (again).

    American women deserve contraceptive coverage included in their insurance plan, just like men do with their Viagra. Period.

    February 10, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. DK

    All republicans can do is tell you how incompetant and immoral government is, then they get elected and prove it. Choice is simple, elect the group who opposes our government and wants their own religious ideologies to rule the day (just like Afghanistan). Or you elect the group that wants government to do it's job, protect the well being of it's citizens and move this country forward. Thanks to the GOP catering to extremists, we can't have both. One party needs to go.

    February 10, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. red

    its just a couple of dollars to Santo cause he has plenty of money. People who are living on the fringes can barely afford a Dr visit and the prescription. As for religion, they have NO BUSINESS in our government laws. Would he like it if his wife was forced by law to wear a burka, or if Sharia Law was in effect. Protect the rights of people to be free and you inherintly protect the rights of religions everywhere. If you allow religious interference for one religion, you allow it for all. Now that is scary.

    February 10, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. Real Patriot

    I f this guy had a prayer of becoming the nominee I guess I'd worry....

    February 10, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. AZ Woman

    @Hark and Tom Paine. I do not care HOW many "experts" in the health field "at the time" claimed it was a "healthy thing to do", it's not. Bringing home a corpse (which is what it was) to "bond" with LIVE children is just plain crazy. I have buried a mother, a father, AND a sibling. It took everything I had on an emotional level to walk into that funeral home to face the truth that they were dead. To think about bringing them into my home where my children live and will spend their lives is ghastly and disgusting. I don't care how you spin it.

    February 10, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. CBR

    Here we go again. Mr. Santorum and his family and his supporters have the right to purchase any health care option. They do not have to "partake" in all the insurance policy allows. They should use their best judgment. All Americans are not entitled to health care. Only those who can afford it. While Congress is vetoing health care they will then insert their own interpretation of what should be available for women. No contraception. No right to choose.k A woman who is raped must have the child no matter how traumatic that is. Men can get Viagra to improve their sexual prowess. How is that unnatural attempt to continue a man's ability to have sex seen as a positive thing?

    February 10, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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