Santorum rips Obama on social agenda
February 19th, 2012
08:32 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum rips Obama on social agenda

(CNN) - Rick Santorum continued his offensive against President Barack Obama while speaking Sunday night to a church in Georgia ahead of the state’s primary next month, portraying the president as a leader intent on starting a cultural war.

As the audience roared with applause, the former Pennsylvania senator called on the country to build a foundation that will "defend the church, defend the family, defend the nonprofit community, defend them from a government that wants to weaken them."

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The rising presidential candidate has ramped up his rhetoric in recent weeks on social issues that have largely remained out of the presidential race until now.

Mostly, he's railed against the administration for a provision that would have required religious institutions to cover contraception in their health insurance plans, regardless of some faith-based teachings that oppose certain forms of birth control.

The White House in response announced it would amend the rule and require insurers to offer contraception at no charge, rather than force religiously affiliated employers to pay for the medication.

Santorum, a devout Catholic, has used the occasion to pin Obama as a president willing to override religious freedoms in order to further his own agenda.

Despite the administration's compromise, Santorum said the original policy was evidence of Obama’s world view.

"It is saying government knows better. It is imposing his ideology on a group of people expressing their theology - their moral code - and saying government will force you to do what your faith says is gravely wrong," Santorum said.

The candidate also made headlines on Saturday when he said Obama had a different "theology" than that found in the Bible, leaving some to speculate whether Santorum was questioning the president's Christian faith.

But the former senator on Sunday morning said he was referring to the president's position on what he called "radical" environmentalism and did not mean to imply religious tones when he used the word "theology."

Also see:

Gay sheriff resigns Romney role after allegations

Bachmann: GOP is extremely 'pro-women'

Paul: Santorum has an 'atrocious voting record'


Filed under: Faith • Georgia • President Obama • Rick Santorum
soundoff (331 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    Sanctus needs to look in the mirror before throwing stones at President Obama.

    February 19, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. Canuck

    Santorum does know he is running for President, not Pope.... doesn't he??

    February 19, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  3. Shannon

    How sad that someone like this can gain power in America. A bigot, a racist and a hate filled individual, hiding behind the words "I'm a Christian".

    February 19, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. Tony

    Amazing!

    He and the radical right wing eschew Islamic Sharia Law, and have had pitched battles in several statehouses to "outlaw" it in the US; but they want our government to support "the Church" and integrate it's teachings into our law? Is there something I am missing here?

    And what church is "the Church"; I know when Santorum says it he means Catholic; but I am not Catholic and owe no allegiance to that church or its teachings. So he wants a minority church in America (Catholics) to take over "the Church" and our government here?

    This man was defeated for re-election by an 18% margin in PA, they knew what they were doing; why are any Americans giving him the time of day?

    February 19, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Is this a Social issue ?

    Why doesn’t Rick Santorum want to protect other people’s right to compensation if they’re victims of medical malpractice?

    Rick voted to prevent Americans from getting just compensation for their pain and suffering caused by medical malpractice
    But that didn’t keep Rick’s wife from suing a Virginia chiropractor for a half million dollars in “pain and suffering”
    Pretty hypocritical, since that’s twice as much as the cap on such damages that his own legislation would have allowed others to receive
    Rick calls their own lawsuit a “private family matter,” but doesn’t seem to think everyone else’s family deserves the same rights and respect

    February 19, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  6. James B

    It would be great if Santorum had ideas to fix the economy...alas, he doesn't.

    February 19, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  7. carol

    Hitler wrote: "I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.." Santoruim stop stepping on my rights.

    February 19, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. Fair Taxes

    What a hypocrit. The First Amendment protects America from people like Santorum.

    A man that wilfully violates and denegrates the First Amendment for his own benefit should not be allowed to even RUN for president, let alone elected.

    Santorum has no problem craming HIS religion on everyone else, but anything that gets in the way of the American Taliban is someone else imposing their social agenda.

    February 19, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  9. HenryB

    The more this man yaks, the less electable he becomes. Even with that knowledge I am so disappointed that "the audience roared with applause" in the church. And this is what Christ wants us to be like? And this is what the Catholic church stands for? This is what our country has come to. The hate by these Republicans is something you can smell and taste. It is a stench that will stay with us for a long time. Simply unbelievable that these people are still relevant.

    February 19, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  10. Charlie from the North

    Want to see what Sanatorium wants? Check out how theocracy works in a couple of other places: Iran? not so much The Vatican? Okay I'll give you that one the Vatican works as a theocracy, of course you would have to accept a few rules that would be at the very least un-American. Plus the demographics stink. Saudi Arabia? Well the traffic is probably better since they only allow 1/2 the population the right to drive. But I don't want the mullahs telling me what to do any more than I want "concerned women of America" telling me what to do. It is within the power of the church to declare something a sin and within the power of the state to declare something a crime. Thank God, and Thomas Jefferson, there is a wall of separation between Church and State. Now I wonder where Jefferson got that great idea. Wait I know, some wise man once said "Redner unto Cesar that which is Cesar's and unto God that which is God's". Whoever said that was a Savior not only to the people but to their religion as well.

    February 19, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  11. Durrell Coleman

    Mr. Santorum should probably look up the definition of the word theology.

    February 19, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  12. Sorensen

    Sanatorium is behaving more and more like a psycho.

    February 19, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. Morpunkt

    Let the truth be known.
    Rick Santorum is riding the wave of the Evangelical power brokers, i.e., Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa, James Dobson of Colorado, Mike Huckabee, etc. He has become their new darling, just as Huckabee had become, in 2008, thusly botching Romney's bid that year. Well, we all know that outcome. All that it did was ruin Romney's chances of beating Obama. And he would have. Now, we see the Evangelicals using a Catholic as their new Great Evangelical Hope. Ironically, the latest polls indicate that most Catholics, by far, favor Mormon Romney over Catholic Santorum. Why? Because they know better.

    Preacher lobbyists of the Evangelical ilk need to stay out of their power trips in politics.

    February 19, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  14. thereik 1

    The story is told of two brothers who were warring against each other, to be the ruler of the kingdom in which they lived. With no sign that either side was going to lose, they took their case to 'God' that he may assist one of them. When they arrived at God's abode, they found Him asleep. The one brother, so self assured, took up position at the head of the bed, close to the head of 'God'. The other brother, took up position at God's feet. Before long, God awoke and as it is His custom, He granted audience to he first brother He set his eyes upon – the one at His feet.

    February 19, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  15. RINO Bil

    Santorum's social agenda is nothing to write home about either ... actually I find it more offensive than Obama's.

    February 19, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  16. Tam

    Separation of church (any church) and state. This guy still doesn't get it. We don't want him.

    February 19, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  17. ARALE NORIMAKI

    Rick Santorum is the anti-gay, anti-abortion guy who is running on these social issues. Never mind health reform or jobs. Or anything important or non-discriminatory, for that matter.

    February 19, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  18. Robert

    I think it's pretty rich that a man whose words sound like he would turn this country into a theocracy is railing against the president.
    Makes sense though, he doesn't have a plan about anything else, so why not social issues

    February 19, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  19. LaLa

    The GOP has become a marauding band of dangerous hypocrites. They need to remember the words of their party hero and get back to reality...­."We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief. At the same time that our Constitution prohibits state establishment of religion, it protects the free exercise of all religions. And walking this fine line requires government to be strictly neutral." -Ronald Reagan

    February 19, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. Reggie from LA

    Uniting a nation and improving international relationships, making end roads towards economic stability is Obama's agenda. Ferreting out weasels on Wall Street is another. Trying to (and has some success with) health care initiatives that help all Americans. Trying to increase the number of jobs, reducing the cost of tuition and student loans, tax cuts for "everyone else" outside the 1-2%, protect consumers... "Rick Santorum, I don't know what the he11 your agenda is, but if it doesn't resemble something along these lines, perhaps you should just s tfu and find a more constructive way to spend your time."

    February 19, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  21. SafeJourney

    Santorum, you will never be president.

    February 19, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  22. cali girl

    Keep talking, it will backfire. I know quite a few Catholics, none of them live a life even 10% of what he does in his family. I am not sure at all what this guy is capable of next.

    February 19, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  23. Sue

    Santorum is a novice and a lightweight! Get a grip people!

    February 19, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  24. PJ/TX

    We have "foundations" that will "defend the Church", "defend the family", defend the American people from the
    tyranny of judgemental hypocrits from imposing their own personal interpretations of "moral values" upon the
    American people. These foundations are called "The Declaration of Independence" and "The Bill of Rights".
    We are a Country governed of the people, by the people. for the people. We will take our personal beliefs to
    our own Churches, whatever religion they might be, and for those who live according to their own
    consciences, without benefit of religious beliefs, will do so without duress and suppression. Santorum, you have
    no right to inflict your lack of compassion and intolerance on people from your political bully pulpit, and those
    who squeal with delight from your hideous words, do so with malice in their hearts.
    If you are so "devout", show some humility, reason, and sincere concern for your fellow human beings.

    February 19, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  25. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    I will do everything in my power to keep our current President. I am doing it for my daughter.

    February 19, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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