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. Loathstheright

    Well, at least wRONg Paul is finally right about something.

    February 19, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Ron Paul is right Rick Santorum is atrocious .

    February 19, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    first I don’t know why these four are in the race

    February 19, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. larry

    I'm a democrat but I love Ron Paul.He stays on topic focus even if you don't agree with his policies.He doesn't get wrapped up in divisive social issues.He's a great Liberterian.

    February 19, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. patriot

    What has happened to civil discourse in the USA? Where is the good in name-calling? wRONg Paul, Mittens Romney, Sanctus Sanctorum, GinGRINCH, O-Bomination. These are schoolyard taunts and unworthy of upright citizens. To all name-callers, whoever you favor, I beg you to GROW UP.

    February 19, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. tom bruceman

    Every candidates including the media but except Ron Paul are concentrating on the wrong subjects obviously. They totally forget or simply ignore the most crucial issue of this country: Over spending ! Borrowing trillion to win some oversea wars, which still have no proof of the originally assumed reasons. The whole world is wondering why America is doing this?

    February 19, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. dagoberto

    You're spot on Mr. Paul. The biggest thread to this nation is its big fat debt. Mr. Santorum (El Santo) is showing himself as conservative but he is a BIG government guy.

    February 19, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Howard

    Atrocious voting record ? ... Did Santorum vote 'present' 127 times? ... oh, yeah, that was obama !!!

    February 19, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. PJ/TX

    I listened to Santorum on Face the Nation today, and without a doubt he is not only atrocious, he is disgusting.
    His views on education and the environment are so radical it was difficult to listen. But I did listen, and he
    confirmed everthing I suspected about him. His comments about President Obama only proved further that
    Santorum is the one reaching a "new low".

    February 19, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    All in time Mr. Paul, all in time. If Santorum won't come clean now to his own party, Democrats will make Republicans whole by exposing who the real Santorum is, all in time.

    February 19, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Isaac

    It's funny how Paul accuses Santorum of having an atrocious voting record yet the vast majority of bills Paul has sponsored never pass the house.

    Obama 2012

    February 19, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. drafter31

    During the January 16th debates in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Presidential candidate Ron Paul laid down a bombshell by advocating his goal of gradually lowering the personal income tax to 0%, while at the same time shrinking government and finding new sources of revenue for Washington to use to perform its duties.

    In response to this, economist and Senior editor for the Wall Street Journal not only agreed that Congressman Paul's plan was feasible, but it would also be the greatest job creator for a nation in the history of the world....

    Vote for Dr. Ron Paul...

    February 19, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    No one has really brought out the record Santorum has support the HSUS (Humane Society of the US), and PETA. Both groups are anti-pet ownership, raise money with sad depictions, but do nothing to help animals in need.
    I am a registered Republican, but I would NEVER vote for this idiot.

    February 19, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. bbear1

    MEMO TO JOHN KING: In Wednesday's debate please ask Mr. Santorum how he characterizes Mr. Romney's theology, given the fact that he was so quick to call Mr. Obama's theology "phony".

    February 19, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. honeybe

    You better believe we want to stay in the race, Dr. Paul. Your voice is the only one of reason.

    February 19, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Steve

    Ron Paul steered millions of dollars to his district. He's the one with the atrocious record.

    February 19, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. Ann

    Ron Paul is right, Rick Santorum is "pretending to be a conservative" and judging by the recent polls, there are alot of ignorant conservatives out there that are buying into his lies. Let's hope voters will take a long look at his record that has proven to be anything but conservative. This guy will NEVER win in a general election...just look at all the hair raising statements he's made this week alone. As far as I am concerned Rick is a phony.

    February 19, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. Justin T

    Ron Paul - the only one talking about what actually matters: the debt, the spending, the wars and curbs to our civil liberities. Got my vote.

    February 19, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The unhinged GOBP. You can run but you can't hide.

    February 19, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    Ron Paul is consistent, except when it comes to liberty and freedom.

    If you're a woman, Paul doesn't believe you have the freedom to do what you want with your own body.

    There's a word in the dictionary for the type of person Paul is: Hypocrite.

    February 19, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    Like all Libertarians, Ron Paul naively thinks that all this infrastructure he enjoys, not to mention the military and law forces that keep our country safe and our liberties secure, will just magically continue if there is no tax base.

    You see, Paul doesn't believe in community. He's a dog-eat-dog kind of guy.

    If he really wanted to put his money where his mouth is, he should move to Somalia where there's no pesky government to "intrude" on him; or perhaps India, where there's no income tax (and no infrastructure).

    Obama/Biden 2012

    February 19, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain

    @tom bruceman: "Every candidates including the media but except Ron Paul are concentrating on the wrong subjects obviously. They totally forget or simply ignore the most crucial issue of this country: Over spending ! Borrowing trillion to win some oversea wars, which still have no proof of the originally assumed reasons. The whole world is wondering why America is doing this?"

    President Obama and Democrats have been very explicit about why we borrowed trillions for war and why the Clinton surplus evaporated: GW Bush and Republican policy of waging two unfunded wars and passing unfunded Medicare Part D at 3am! Add to that the Bush tax cuts, which primarily benefited the wealthy (tax cuts, which our nation had never done during wartime – EVER!).

    President Obama had the stones and maturity to put the cost of those two wars and Medicare Part D on the books, instead of continuing the lies started by Bush. So, yeah, we have a deficit – one which we can't cut our way out of.

    The wealthy have been enjoying the lowest tax rates in 50 years, without the return of all the job creation they promised (pardon me, they have been creating jobs overseas, where labor is cheap and regulations barely exist; our bad for not demanding they create jobs HERE).

    It's about time Republicans listen to the will of the people: A majority of Americans, along with 62% of American millionaires and billionaires WANT their taxes raised.

    This would go a long way in getting our financial house in order.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    February 19, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. WhereIsPalin

    "The candidate has yet to win any state contests"...........that speaks to relevancy.

    February 19, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Susan

    Santorum is frightening! What else can be said. I am stunned by the things he is saying on Face the Nation and in his campaign speeches. My heavens people wake -up, this guy is a nut.

    February 19, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. AL Monavie

    It is amazing that no one in the media appears to raise the issue of why Ron Paul has consistently ripped into Rick Santorum, Newt Gringrich and others in debates and interviews but has been very silent on Mitt Romney's record and double-talk. No other candidate's record (as it relates to liberal positions, non-libertarian positions etc) is more assailable than Romey's but Ron Paul never attacks him-why?

    February 19, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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