Paul: Santorum has an 'atrocious voting record'
February 19th, 2012
12:18 PM ET
3 years ago

Paul: Santorum has an 'atrocious voting record'

(CNN) - Ron Paul on Sunday re-launched his attack that Republican presidential rival Rick Santorum is a liberal, adding he doubts the former Pennsylvania senator could beat President Barack Obama in November if he wins the party's nomination.

"His voting record is, I think from my viewpoint, an atrocious voting record - how liberal he's been in all the things he's voted for over the many years he was in the Senate and in the House," Paul said on CNN's "State of the Union."


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Paul has previously attacked Santorum for voting for the debt ceiling five times as a senator, as well as the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska that was considered unnecessary government spending.

On Sunday, the candidate specifically pointed to Santorum's high-profile comments on the recent birth control controversy, in which the White House amended a rule that would have required religious institutions to pay for contraception coverage.

While Santorum clarified his position on Friday, saying he believes "birth control can and should be available," the candidate was an outspoken critic of the contraception policy as being a form of government "coercion."

"It's not about contraception. It's about government control of our lives and it's got to stop," Santorum said in a February 10 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Paul, however, argued that the candidates, including Santorum, were focused on the wrong issues.

"This whole idea about that talking about the social issues and who is going to pay for birth control pills, I'm worried about undermining our civil liberties, the constant wars going on, the debt of $16 trillion," Paul told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "They are worried about birth control pills and here he wants to control people's social lives."

Asked if Santorum, who's now topping the polls in several key states with upcoming contests, could potentially beat Obama in the fall, Paul said he didn't "see how that's possible" and blasted the former senator as a candidate "pretending he's a conservative."

Paul also stood by comments he made in Kansas City on Saturday night, in which he said the country was "slipping into a fascist system."

He argued that big business and government have too strong of a bond, and while the United States does not have authoritarian rule, he pointed to examples of American citizens captured "by the military and held indefinitely without a trial" as evidence the country was headed in that direction.

"We're not there, but there's reasons why we should not be complacent," Paul warned.

The candidate has yet to win any state contests, unlike the other three GOP presidential contenders, but Paul reiterated he was still in the race for the long haul, anticipating a run that could extend to the Republican National Convention.

"I have to assume that it's going to go into August because we're not going to lock it up in May, obviously," Paul said. "I anticipate it's going to go on for a while. And that's certainly what the supporters want me to do."

Also see:

Gingrich suggests candidacy rests on Georgia

Obama budget proposal under fire in GOP address

Friess apologizes for birth control comment

Six members withdraw from Waters probe

Romney maintains win in Maine caucuses

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum • Ron Paul • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Jessica

    Obama has gotten all the GOP candidates except for Ron Paul focused on social issues. If Obama can make this election about the scary GOP social issues viewpoint, he wins.

    Meanwhile Ron Paul is saying hello guys, let's keep the focus on the economy!

    February 19, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. wde

    When it comes to the national debt., we've got problems on both sides of the aisle. The Republicans want to spend us into the ground with defense spending and colonies on the moon, and the Dems on social programs. Ron Paul is right: cutting a trillion over ten years isn't enough when your over a trillion A YEAR in the red. Bush 2 was financially the one of the worst presidents ever, doubling our national debt over years when we could have paid it off, and sending us into a trillion dollar war we didn't need Iraq, and a very expensive prescription drug program. God help us all.

    February 19, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Ramesh

    Yes, Paul is right about a few very important things. Most people agree that we need to increase domestic energy production, do a good job of job matching, and focus on quick skill retraining. But where are the plans? Where is the meat?

    February 19, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. Jaime Jorn

    The funniest thing to me is guys like Santorum basing so much of their platform on 'anti" government, keep government out of our lives, etc. Then turn around and want to outlaw abortion, stop gay marriage, etc. Weather you agree with those things of not, they would be prime examples of things the government should stay out of.

    February 19, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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