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. LLOYD ROBERTS

    "And if I win, it's Bishop Santorum to you all. We'll have none of this president stuff." What, founding fathers. The only fathers I follow are from Rome" Quote by Santorum, 10-12-12

    February 20, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Saint Orem plans to back the church. OK. Which church? Is he going to back synagogs, temples, meditation rooms, mosques or traveling revival tents? Or is he, in fact, only going to back the beliefs and theocracy of the Catholic faith?

    Saint Orem claims to back the family. True enough, if you are a married Catholic that does not practice birth control, has never been divorced and does not protest Church policy. If your family consists of two Moms or two Dads, it does not matter how long you have been living together or how comitted you are to each other, you are not a family. If you are a man and woman who have chosen to live together and raise children together, you are not a family. And, as such, you are not entitled to common benefits like group health care, survivor benefits or even vistation rights if your loved one is ever in a situation where the loved can't say Let them in".

    Saint Orem wants to defend non-profit groups. He does want to give Catholic non-profits the right to not offer certain medical advice to any of their employees, no matter what is the employees religion. I haven't seen him saying anything in defense of Jewish charities, Baptists missions, mormon charities, planned parenthood or any other group than those recognized by the Pope.

    May the Lord save us from the faith of others.

    February 20, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    Santorum: the new face of Christianity.

    We thought people like Falwell were bringing a new version of the Inquisition to the world, but lo and behold, there's Santorum, someone who is as unchristian as they get.

    February 20, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. ObamaJoe

    God bless America,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    God bless President Obama,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    February 20, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. newbridge

    Sounds like Rick is changing his tactics. Can't change your record tho Rick, you're still a do nothing former senator with blinders on.

    February 20, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. insight iowa

    Jobs? Debt? War? Iran? Fair Taxes? A House who does nothing? Hello... anyone home?

    Republican voting straight Dem Ticket in 2012.

    February 20, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  7. Ghetto Bro

    Obama is intent on starting a cultural war? Really, the only people claiming that are the folks on the right!! This goes right along with the "class warfare" accusation kicked about again by the right wing.
    When are these poor saps going to stop playing the victim card? It makes them look lame to say the least. It appears there only stand is – "if you don't agree with me you are attacking me" – and it is incredible sad and unproductive. Frankly, as a guy it makes me sick!!
    Obama can't help but win if this is the type of losers the Republicans are putting up to run against him.

    February 20, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Justin

    The swing of the pendulum is far and wide and casts its pall over us all as it swings to the left and then to the right. We had Clinton who paved the way for Bush who paved the way for Obama who will pave the way for???? Perhaps the best measure of a president is not the condition of the country he left behind but the person he opened the door to follow him? I canot blame Santorum for a world that delivered him to this place any more than I can Obama for the world that delieverd him. They are both simply men who happen to be in the right, or wrong, place at the right, or wrong, time. I would much prefer to see two different men running against each other who are more moderate but as one side places their fringe in the ring, the other will counter with their fringe and the vast majority will hold our noses and select from that. Not surprising.

    February 20, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. Meki60

    the Dems should choose a different candidiate, Obama is a charlatan and will lose

    February 20, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. Nick

    We don't want this bigot as the president. Oh my God what the country has come to even cosidering a person like this for the president of USA.

    February 20, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. ObamaJoe

    Michael Bachmann is better than him ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    February 20, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. Spencer

    Santorum has about the same odds of becoming president as Sarah Palin. Zero. Romney is ridiculously way more qualified then Santorum, especially for the economic mess our country is in. Stop voting for "likable average Joe candidates" If Santorum gets the nomination I will vote for Obama.

    February 20, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. clarke

    Rick and his friends are on a witch hunt like I have never, ever seen before. It is so distastful, I can't even get the words out. What ever happened to being a man of faith, rick. What are you all teaching the children, how to hate, how to bully and how to be mean. If you all call this being a Christian, then I don't care to join your club. I am a Christian and never were we taught to be so awful.

    February 20, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. BobAlan

    Nut job to Nut jobs.

    February 20, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  15. WhereIsPalin

    Good luck with that strategy in the real world.

    February 20, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Eagle Eye

    The only people that are the "blame" are the people who voted for Obama and believed that he would change the way Washington works. Well as everyone can see he didn't. Has he created a "Class warfare" he sure has. I want to know if all the people who voted for Obama and are out of job still believe that Obama's change is coming. People are starting to believe that Rick Santorum is correct in what he is saying, well he absolutely correct. Rick Santorum is speaking the truth. So come November everyone should be thinkking can "We the People of the United States" take 4 more years of Obama?. I believe that this is a "No Brainer". If everyone wants "Class Warfare" and wants to be supported by Obama then vote for him and have a Europe style culture. If "We the People of the United States" want a better life then vote Obama out and make him a "One and Done President".

    February 20, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. DENNA

    Self-centered jerk. Who does he think he ois? Do the rest of us really want this "person" in power.

    February 20, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. Fran

    The Republican Party has degenerated into this–Rick Santorum. "Nattering nabob of negativism" as Nixon's VP Spiro Agnew used to say.

    February 20, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. JKMB

    "government will force you to do what your faith says is gravely wrong," yet you support going to war which is against many faiths including your own. Christians be consistent. Jesus what a lead by example and live and let live. Judge not. No one is forcing people to take the birth control just have it as an option. Children should be planned and wanted but it often doesn't happen that way and by being anti-woman and forcing women to have children when they aren't ready to do so is psychologically traumatizing for children who are thrust into a stressed situation and a family not ready to handle it. Abstinence education doesn't work. The bible belt ironically has the highest divorce, pregnancy and STD rates in the country. Its nice and all to idealize people shouldn't have sex until their married but its not realistic.

    February 20, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. Sam

    'Run' for pope? Now that shows IQ of an average American. Common sense is what is lacking here. And its amazing to see it in this day and age.

    February 20, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. DDanny1

    This is the same guy who was vehemently opposed to the mosque, saying "The [Muslim] community center would desecrate the ground of those who were murdered by people who practice the faith, or at least an element of the faith, that is being represented by that mosque….Islam is not just a religion, it is also a political doctrine."
    In other words "This is not the Theology I believe in so it is wrong and does not deserve the same right of the ONE TRUE RELIGION, the known 872 different Christian sects. 136 that have over 3,000 members and up."
    So my question is, are ALL the 672 Christian sects, including the one of Steve "Burn for me" Koresh, Jim "Can I get you some punch" Jones and Westboro's Baptist Church's Fred "I'm so happy your son is dead" Phelps the "one true religion"?

    February 20, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. KO

    Santorum wants to be the Theocon in Chief, not Commander in Chief. He's a dangerous, dangerous man.

    February 20, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Anonymous

    @clarke

    Rick and his friends are on a witch hunt like I have never, ever seen before.
    ======================
    Terry Schiavo ring a bell for you? Santorum was head of that fiasco also.

    February 20, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. alan

    Another shovel full of dirt gets removed from the hole being dug by the Republican Presidential candidates. Rick, Rick, Rick – as it is said "I may not agree with you, but I will defend to my death your right to say it." I will also laugh hysterically as you attempt to convince the citizens of America that you are a viable candidate that can run this country. Look at the map. This is the United States of America, not Vatican City.

    Anyone who starts a list with "defend the church" lacks clear understanding of what this country is all about and shows where his allegiance lies.

    LIve and believe anything you want but don't you dare attempt to place those beliefs on the rest of us. Don't you dare say the next day that what I said yesterday, really wasn't what I meant because you know it was.

    Run hard, Rick, as you lead your party, if you ever get nominated, into oblivion.

    February 20, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. scmom

    We have far more smarter people in this country than we do Santorum followers. I know what he was saying and a lot of people did also. This man is the definition of being a hyprocrite. What in the H e double hockey sticks is he trying to do with his religious beliefs. He's waging the cultural war and if being a Christian is being like him, God is the only one that can help us.

    February 20, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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