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. Peace

    Sorry Santorum. I do not envy your life at all. When I do Iook at this photo of your family, it doesn't cross my mind at all that you are living a good and a happy life. You can pretend but that is not the reality. Please keep this kind of living to yourself and don't dare to impose to anyone!

    February 10, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. CoJo

    is he still covered under the same health care system congress gets?

    February 10, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. ja

    how truly religious are these institutions

    February 10, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. steven harnack

    Unfortunately Rick, with people like you around the government DOES have to legislate and legally enforce some rights for everyone. Women's sufferage and racial discrimination have proven that. All of your "god given" doesn't mean squat without someone to enforce it.

    February 10, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Bella has the best healthcare in the World, what about you and your child. Santorum is a fraud along with the rest of the Republicans.

    February 10, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. VoiceFrmLeft

    Santorum couldn't be more out of touch with the American public. This country needs inspiration, not religious oppression. The party of "no" has become so self-righteous that their only cohesive campaign message is "we're not Obama". It's sickening. I make no secret of my liberal leaning views, but if ANY Democratic candidate were to try such a lazy and conceited effort to win an office like that, I'd have serious doubts about giving that person my vote.

    February 10, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Darw1n

    "truth" says – Obama has proven over and over that he is a clear and present danger to ALL of our Constitutionally protected freedoms

    Hang in there buddy, pretty soon the PPACA will cover Abilify for you schizafrenia

    February 10, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Gurgi

    Amendments to the constitution are the proper way to change it if there is something you don't like about, rather than just ignoring it and violating it as the current administration does.

    February 10, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. CoJo

    next question for anyone that knows what Santorum's or Gingrish's health care plan is (other than canceling Obamacare). How are they suggesting states handle people who do not have health care insurance (for whatever reason). If they are taking the position that they will leave that up to the individual states, fine, just need to know

    February 10, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. Hopster

    Obama shoved the right to healthcare down our throats???!! Good lord, what's the man going to do next? Shove the right to live life as we choose down our throats? Thank God Santorum's here to save us from being forced to have rights!

    February 10, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Buster Bloodvessel

    ""They believe rights come from government,"" They sure don't come from churches; we fought against churches to have a free country. Our government keeps us safe from Popes and Archbishops and the armies they control. Wipe that santorum off your party and get your heads out of your fundaments.

    February 10, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. clarke

    I do not want to be contolled by someones religious beliefs. So I will not be voting for rick

    February 10, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. tumbleweed

    Hark....I agree, let the Religious entities do what they want. We should not interfer with their God given rights and beliefs... Just make them pay TAXES like everyone else and it's all copasetic.

    February 10, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. bcm

    He believes that we should not be entitled to receive good health care. He also believes that we should continue to be at war! In fact, he wants to start a whole new one against Iran. He is truly one scary idiot!!!

    February 10, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. Sonnie 2

    obama care with all its work done behind closed doors against the majority of Americans is on sure sign of him being a dictator. This read the bill and you will find out whats in it is a stupid arrogant democrat, socialist move if I ever seen one. This something an honest upstanding MAN LIKE RICK SANTORUM

    February 10, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. Dan

    The GOP is bringing Fascism to a corner near you soon! These guys are very very scary! The only thing they care less about more than the poor, are women and minorities. What ever happened to separation of church and state? If you don't want birth control don't buy it! DON'T tell me I can't have it!

    February 10, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  17. Citizen

    With "leaders" like Santorum is it any surprise that US ranks way below many countries in Science and Math? Santorum and his ilk have no compunction to pawn the future of this nation just to please a handful of religious zealots. Even his creator will condemn Mr. Santorum for sedition.

    February 10, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. Sonnie 2

    DID NOT FINISH THE BLOG///This is something an honest upstanding MAN LIKE RICK SANTORUM would never do.

    February 10, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. MR AMERICA

    The "pill" costs about 80 – 100 a month. That isn't a "few dollars." If you agree with the issue or not, you can certainly see that Santorum is either lying or misinformed. Vasectomies and tubal ligations are also not "a few dollars." In the long run if insurance companies paid for it, there would be fewer kids, less burden on sociaety. But the GOP isn't capable of two-step thinking. They are too wrapped up in opposing everything the Dems want. They want freedom...unless you want an abortion, are gay, smoke pot, like porn, heavy metal or rap, and like violent video games. (Ron Paul being the exception.)

    February 10, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. NoWay

    All the cons need to stay out of my life. I have enough problems just keeping a roof over my head. Stay out of my bedroom, church, clinic and doctor's office. If you want to do some good, get rid of Homeland Security – if you dare try.

    February 10, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. Sonnie 2

    Santorum will not and would not let his religion get in the way of running the office of President, Unlike obama who is trying to cut the Christian Faith at every corner he can. obummer won't be happy till Jerimiah wright is on of his czars.

    What is behind the move to take faith and GOD out of American Culture is beyond me. If you don't believe, that your choise, and if you do believe that is also your choice, Get the Government out of controling religion. Let the chips fall where they may. After all it is the Christians that more often than not support the need of those down trodden and give more to help the poor than any other group.

    February 10, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. Lisa P

    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."

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Amen to that!

    By the way, when will the Catholic Church start paying taxes, just like any other partisan political organization that seeks to influence our elections?

    February 10, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  23. AZ Woman

    @Sonnie who said...."obama care with all its work done behind closed doors against the majority of Americans is on sure sign of him being a dictator. This read the bill and you will find out whats in it is a stupid arrogant democrat, socialist move if I ever seen one."

    Well, if giving good price controlled healthcare to every American citizen is socialistic, then call me a socialist. We are the ONLY level 1 country in the entire world that does not have sustainable healthcare for its citizens. When I have to decide to pay my rent or utilities, or pay my co-pay for an exam and "god forbid" LAB COSTS, there is something truly out of whack in this country.

    February 10, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. Sonnie 2

    The bleeding heart member of the anti CHRIST move can rember one thing, The true Christian loves all and will help all in need. Can You Say That for you and your athiest buddies. I did not think so.

    February 10, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. David in Houston

    Dinosaurs will die...

    February 10, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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