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. Willie Floyd

    Could I make a suggestion?? Don't bother reading anything "Truth or NOTHING" says. Just scroll past-that's what I've begun doing. Printable words can't describe him. Maybe if he's ignored he'll just go away!

    OBAMA/BIDEN/2012

    February 10, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. GEORGIA TEE

    I'll take Fed. Gov. control over, republican evanglical conservative teaparty mean spirited anti choice control......Let's remember some of the things that happened the last time states had to much control.....can you say civil rights movement, and jim crow !!!!! WE WON'T GO BACK TO THOSE TIMES PS. none of you clowns speak for my faith..

    February 10, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  3. CedarRapids

    "They scare you by intimidating you to trust them and give you power," he said."

    This coming from a catholic? too funny!

    February 10, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  4. Paul_1

    Santorum, the champion of monoculture, wants us to believe that he can be a President that represents all Americans. His approach is to force all Americans to fit his view of the world. Hypocrit is too mild a description for him.

    February 10, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  5. svann

    I agree – neither viagra nor the pill should be covered under an insurance policy. It makes no economic sense. You dont get something for nothing. It still costs you money in premiums, in fact a commodity costs more when paid for through insurance.

    February 10, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  6. Disgusted

    This guy is offensive at so many levels it is not funny any more!

    February 10, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  7. Dewayne

    Do they hear themselves? "A wise man once told me, never argue with fools...." Santorum is a fool.

    February 10, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  8. 60's survivor

    Looking down the road wondering what the next diversion will be foisted upon the voting population by the GO NO P ??

    February 10, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  9. fsulevine

    "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."

    Hmmm... so is Santorum now in favor of allowing unmarried, consenting adults to marry each other, whether they are of the same sex or not? Seems like a complete flip-flop to me!

    February 10, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  10. mary

    Yeah, I really resent the government shoving down my throat the right to health care. You go Rick!

    February 10, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  11. Ins1te

    Just because it's available to you does not mean you should use it. If it's against your personal beliefs then stay away. My main issue is all the hypocrisy.

    February 10, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  12. GRAHAME RHODES

    Here in Canada we are amused.
    In fact looking at the Republicans gains us one huge belly laugh.
    Our politicians may be boring dumb and stupid sometimes but for sure they are not malicious nasty liars like this pathetic bunch of Republican losers.
    Thank God for Canada.
    Any religious nuts up here are never taken seriously. My My only in the US.

    February 10, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  13. sqeptiq

    Christians believe that dying is the best part of living because then you get to be in paradise. A lot like Muslim jihadists. Anything between conception and death is just waiting around while your fate is decided.

    February 10, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  14. Robrob

    "They believe rights come from government,"

    Classic strawman argument.

    "The most important one they've been able to shove down the throats of the American public is the right to health care."

    Oh no, not health care! OMG, how awful...

    Is that really the best the GOP can do, complain about citizens getting more affordable health care for themselves and their families?

    What next – complain about our nice highways?

    February 10, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  15. OrangeW3dge

    it's just plain creepy how they can say one thing one moment and an exactly opposite thing the next, and nobody seems to notice

    February 10, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  16. Jan Brewer

    Requiring contraceptive coverage in the insurance policy doesn't mean that people have to use it. But, I think the Catholic church would be surprised at how many of their members use contraceptives. But, that shouldn't surprise anyone since the Catholic church still doesn't believe that there is a problem with priests and young boys.

    February 10, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  17. OrangeW3dge

    I really hope they nominate Santorum

    February 10, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  18. bullseye john

    Man, where are the drowns when you really, really need one to protect Americans? Such a lost opportunity.

    February 10, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  19. Midwestmatt

    I love when the Right scream for smaller, less intrusive government while saying government should get inside a woman's uterus and tell her what to do once else gets pregnant. What they're not telling us is their unstated goal is to subjugate women all over again. They're no better than the Taliban.

    February 10, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  20. Larry L

    @Hark

    @AZ Woman- you are way out of line with that last statement.....Shame on you!!!
    ---------------------------------------------------------–
    You may not like the subject of a person taking home the corpse of a dead child (nobody does) but that doesn't erase the fact. I'm more repulsed by his hawk-like approach to military matters – especially since he's avoided service. He's willing to send other people's children to war so they can come home in a box. Maybe he'd like to bring all of those boxes home for his kids to pray over...

    February 10, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  21. Surfer George

    I didn't hear the whole thing, but I BET he never used the word CONSTITUTION or CONSTITUTIONAL in his tirade...

    Why?

    Because his entire premise requires us to ignore it. We are to FORCE employees to submit to the sill of the Church in order to "do God's will."

    February 10, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  22. Max Powers

    I hate it when the Government shoves Rights down my throat! Next they'll be telling me I can drink beer outside and smoke pot in my house. Soon, they will have shoved so many rights down my throat that I can buy allergy medicine without a prescription!

    February 10, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  23. Liz the First

    This from a man with a chronically sick child who has health care provided by, wait for it.... THE GOVERNMENT!!! if he was a common laborer he'd be singing a way different tune. this hypocrite makes me physically ill! he is the most knuckle-dragging of all the rethugs. he'd take us back to the 12th century.

    February 10, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  24. J.V.Hodgson

    Dear Mr. Santorum. The way this is framed by The Obama administration is as PUBLIC POLICY ISSUE... IT MEANS AFFECTING ALL AMERICANS Catholic or not, and is a requirement on the insurance companies to make policies available to Catholic organisations including contraceptives.
    I have a simple solution. On the policy application form for each employee there is a tear off slip where each employee ticks to opt in or opt out only.( No copy at place of employment) This is returned to the Insurance company who calculate only an average one premium cost to all employees. No one then knows whether or who officially opted in or out and the option form is renewable annually as is premium.
    Ouch you have the nerve to say no economic consequences of a new born child oh yes there are, some positive, and some negative economically speaking and you ignore medical studies that tell of many benefits of contraceptive use medically and on other economic levels.
    The woman ( pill, day after pill) or man individually (sterilisation/ condom) are the right people to decide.
    Frankly politicians and religious bodies should keep religious law and federal or state laws out of or separate from politics as per the Constitution/ bill of rights.
    Please note the logical extension of your objections is that all people may not opt for conntaceptive coverage particularly/ especially non catholics employed by catholic organisations!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    February 10, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  25. Rich

    To Canadian Jim...
    Your sooooo right. Jesus healed the sick.... & he did it for FREE!!! No stock holders to coddle. No profit margins to make. No bottom line. Seems like a commie to me. Jesus would never make it in the GOP. He was about love, turn the other cheek, and choice. GOP is about Hate, Vengeance, & choice... As long as it's they're choice.

    February 10, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
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