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. Anonymous

    "It is about Government mandating what religion will do"

    CORRECTION: It is about Government requiring religions engaged in commercial activity to follow the same laws that every person or organization involved in commercial activities must follow. Why do your extreme rightwing religious nuts keep demanding special rights?

    February 10, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  2. thedoctor

    Didn't the government tell the Mormon's they could only have one wife? That sounds a lot more intrusive than telling a church that runs a hospital it has to conform to hospital employment rules.

    February 10, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. Pat in IL

    With contraception in a healthcare package, each individual can decide whether or not they want or need to use it. With it not in the package, nobody has that choice, which could undoubtedly lead to more requests for abortions. Get real and realize how ridiculous your argument is, Santorum and followers.

    February 10, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Santorum is the American taliban and American sharia law all rolled into one

    February 10, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. roro

    Santorum doesn't want the government to shove things down our throat – like the horror healthcare for all. Sure, none of us deserve healthcare, unless we can afford it ourselves, which eliminates multi millions of us. He would much rather have his religious beliefs shoved down our throats. He wants this country to be a theocracy instead of a democracy. He wants to be in our bedrooms, in our uteruses, and of course, in our lamps. But heaven forbid, we offer universal healthcare to everyone. What a schmuck!!! How can his wife and daughters follow this poor excuse for a man?

    February 10, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Great photograph for supporting the need for Birth Control.

    February 10, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. MaryM

    Cali, we the free women of America (not the women under American shirea law) are with you. We will use our vote wisely and NOT vote for these religious wing nuts. Just like we did with SBK (got rid of Karen Handel) and backed PPH for our right to breast health care.

    February 10, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  8. Heywood Jablome

    What do you expect? This is brought to you by the same great minds that gave us the phrase "the haves and the soon to haves." And by soon I mean in another lifetime...like 72 virgins.

    February 10, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. ﺶCHEﺶ

    Santorum is part of GOP circus clowns on parade at high noon in America. He's NO match against Pres. Obama in any forum or debate.
    No doubt!
    Pres. Obama 2012!

    February 10, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. Ann

    For God's sake, Santorum is too stupid.

    February 10, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. cigarman

    There is nothing left to say about these Stu pid Republican Candidates or the Stu pid people who will vote for them.

    February 10, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. JJ Puccio

    I agree with Santorum. How dare the President suggest that everybody has a right to be healthy! Only the rich and powerful have such a right. It's their God-given right; otherwise, God wouldn't have made them rich and powerful.

    February 10, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I hope Santorum stays in the news for a while so America can find out what a WACKJOB this man really is. Religion and politics are NOT a good mix, especially when you think your way of worship is the only right way.

    February 10, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. GI Joe.

    Typical chinese fire drill at the CPAC. So much hate, and so little time to spread it.

    February 10, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. PTNY

    Rick said two hours ago that social issues are more important than the economy.

    This game is over.

    February 10, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  16. PTNY

    Why is Rickie plan to change the limit of children (1) that the Chinese government allows? It's non of his business.

    February 10, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  17. topaz_grrl

    "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."

    Santorum believes the government should be allowed to force women through pregnancy and childbirth. Santorum believes in forced sonograms, waiting periods, parental consent, and other shaming/terror tactics to prevent women/other people with uteri from accessing contraception and/or abortion. But liberals are "coercing" him. Liberals want government control of our lives. Right.

    February 10, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  18. M1sf1ts

    Government Mandate is Tyranny!

    February 10, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  19. GaryB

    Santorum obviously believes that the rights of these big hospitals (which are, despite religious affiliations big corporations) outweigh the rights and privacy of their employees. Just what we need, another politician who believes in letting big corporate shove its will down the throats of the American people.

    February 10, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Joe

    Hey, guess what, our rights are NOT god-given they are given to us by ourselves i.e. other people. Show me the bit of the Bill of Rights in god's handwriting and I might believe you. Until then don't expect me to believe in fairy tales let alone allow my rights to be impacted by some religious lunatics

    February 10, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  21. mk1

    Coerce? Just wait and if Santorum were to become president the country would be coerced into his belief system, which is not mine that is for sure. The Pope dictates beliefs in the Catholic church and that is who Santorum would follow, no doubt in my mind. He talks about religious freedom, well how about our freedom from his extreme beliefs? We need to get religion, all religion out of government and politics or we are all doomed.

    February 10, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  22. Former Republican, now an Independent

    This just shows the republicans distaste for the poor, when they say the health care shouldn't be a right. Adequate health care should be a right and not a privaledge for those who can afford it. The current day republican party feels that if you can't afford health care, then you have the right to die!

    February 10, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  23. Ed Fl

    What a joke ,a 2 term senator that got kicked out of office ,now running for president and most of his comments are about curtailing government and its services. He should have been using birth control within his family vice trying to covet a government position where he can ensure his family get on the Government dole like he has been. Try getting a real job and earn your keep instead of being another government free loader.

    February 10, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  24. JuanVonDinklus

    I suppose Santorum overlooks the "child abusing Priests" and thinks that his religion is perfect and one you should donate all your money to. Of course, we shouldn't talk about such things because that would be persecution of the religious right – never mind the children.

    February 10, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  25. TinMT

    It's pretty easy to understand why the Conservatives don't believe we have a right to healthcare. If someone can make money on something then others don't have a right to it. They have the right to pay for it. As long as our healthcare is a commodity traded on Wall Street, we will never see healthcare for all. And before the trolls pounce, I am 54, have worked since I was 16. I am about to lose my home, not because I bought a mortgage I couldn't afford (in 1988), but because in spite of my health insurance, my medical expenses are bankrupting me. Weekly chemo at $13k a month just for the drug! I still work 60 hours a week, only get to see the numbers on my paystub because it's pretty much gone as soon as I get it. Got no boats, no toys, no big screen, drive a 15 year old car with 250k miles on it (but 45 mpg). So before I hear about living on the dole, not working, etc. you can just pound sand!

    February 10, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
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