Santorum rips Obama on social agenda
February 19th, 2012
08:32 PM ET
2 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. AngryBob

    Are we surprised? NOT! Santorum is promoting a bizarre religious agenda where the societal role of women is restricted to being stay at home moms who home school as many children as possible. In other words, "everyone should aspire to be just like me." Rick doesn't understand that most of us think of him as a clown. Sure, the lunatic fringe is out in full force, and he is benefiting from Romney's gaffs, but when push comes to shove, Santorum is unelectable in the general elections. That's what happens when your base has an extremist anti-freedom agenda.

    February 20, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Hennypenny

    Seems to me that Rick is sinking deeper into psychosis. Treatment with either antipsychotic drugs or a night out with the guys to knock back a few beers and view a porn flick is recommended.

    February 20, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Mike

    A a democrat, I am just fine with Santorum leading among the republican candidates. If he's the nominee, we are assured of another term for Obama.

    February 20, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Roger

    My friends, this is a dangerous, dangerous man who has no business being anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We all must do all we can to ensure President Obama's re-election in order to avoid a catastrophe such as Santorum.

    February 20, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. sene

    Fake Christians like Santoroum kill me.... always persecuting someone else falsely.. .this is about running America..Not a church building fund. Not everyone is a christian. not everyone is a believer. Stop attacking YOUR fellow Americans. And don't get me started on the women thing. ... might as well take us back to the 14th century!

    February 20, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Senator, if you are such a devout Catholic, then why are you in politics?
    Shouldn't you be making the politicians into believers, not a politician making believers?

    February 20, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Bart

    Doesn't Santorum want to force his world view on the rest of us? Doesn't he have a social agenda? What a hypocrite – and what he is saying is not even true.

    February 20, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. LMC

    Santorum appears to follow the "theology" of my way or nothing. President Obama has followed a fairly moderate road and wants to help his "neighbor" by providing better access to health care in our country for everyone. Santorum and the Republicans don't seem to care about those that can't afford health care. They can just go to the ER (expensive for all) or do without. For a so-called family man with a child with a fragile medical condition that must require a great deal of medical care and high medical bills, he doesn't seem to care about anyone else's children! He doesn't believe that religious institutions should have to provide equal health care coverage for women (wonder how he feels about insurance coverage for Viagra?). As far as environmental conerns, he apparently doesn't care what havoc we wreak on the environment, despite the bible's admonition to care for the earth. I could care less what religion Santorum is, except that he apparently wants to push his religious views onto the entire country. This is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind!

    February 20, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. ALPHA

    I salute Mr. Santorum for his stance on many issues. He is correct when he says President Obama gave us his world view that the governemnt should make all these decisions for us, when he decreed his birth control stance to the Catholic Church.

    This sad sack is a typical Liberal extremist, who beleives that he knows better than us what is best for us. He beleives he can shove anything down our throats in the context that it's good for us.....BUNK. Boot these bums in November!!

    February 20, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. Dina

    I never would have dreamed that they could come up with someone worse than George W. Bush.

    February 20, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Ann

    "It is imposing his ideology on a group of people expressing their theology – their moral code "

    This is an improvement, someone explained him the difference between theology and ideology.. Santorum is the male version of Sarah Palin.. maybe a good guy but stupid.

    February 20, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. A Texan

    If not President, meaby Rick would like to be our first Ayatollah !?!?!?

    February 20, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. FactCheck

    I guess he has to start grasping at straws seeing as how (against all GOP wishes) the economy is recovering and job creation is on an incline.

    February 20, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  14. PaulE

    If anyone needs further proof how far the education system in the U.S. has fallen only needs to understand that there are people in this country who take Santorum seriously. He is a walking example of everything that is wrong in this country – celebrating ignorance, dogma over science and regression over progression. I know my conservative friends don't have much choice amongst these candidates, but Santorum? He shouldn't even be on the radar.

    February 20, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Lisa P

    "Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's; give unto God that which is God's." I fail to see how paying for insurance coverage - *not* paying for any particular prescription or procedure, really, just making it available should an employee want or need to use it - violates anyone's "faith." Unless Rick Santorum and the religious right now confuse religion with business and money with divine inspiration. Which actually wouldn't surprise me at this point. Forget that radical Christ character - Mammon is where the real money and power is at! And Mammon says no one can make you spend a nickel that you don't want to, especially on anyone who doesn't matter or can't make you a nice profit. The "least of these" are exactly that, as far as Mammon and Santorum are concerned.

    February 20, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Tuna

    If one reads about the rise and fall of Hitler, one can draw a lot of similarities to the speeches, beliefs, and actions of Santorum. Play to the fears of the right. Government by fear!

    February 20, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. A Texan

    Hugh Jess, Do you long for the good ole days of Bush/Cheney`s unjustifiable war, tax cuts for the rich and the Wall st. bailout???? Don`t forget the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

    February 20, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. mayfiat

    This is the process, fantastic! The Obama camp is nervous because there is finally a viable candidate that will challenge him on the issues and make him lead instead of dictate. Too bad Obama will just spend money to trash a candidate, when it would be rather nice to see a real debate on "real issues" facing our country so voters can make a choice for what they want thier future to be, instead of having it decided for them; such as the blatant way Pres Obama dicates.

    Glad to see Santorum in the running, keep it up, this is what real democracy and freedom is about. I hope the American people are wise enough to see the truth, our country depends on it.

    February 20, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. jb1963

    All this guy talks about is religion. This will not solve the problems we face. Sorry I can not vote for a faith leader. What is his plan? To pray away unemployment, poverty and climate change?

    February 20, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. mary

    Defend, WHOSE church? (not ones that accept gay marriage or muslims, I bet) Defened WHICH non profits? Not planned parenthood, for sure. Defend which families? Not divorcee parents, or gay couples or atheist families. Come on Rick. YOU are the none that wants to impose your ideas and morals on everyone else.

    February 20, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. billy davis

    The GOP fails to realize that 70% of Americans find BC is ok. Secondly, the really don't get in that 50% of US Voters are women.

    February 20, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Jimmy

    If people like Santorum had their own Christian nation in which to rule as they pleased, the U.S. would be invading it in order to free its people from human rights violations.

    February 20, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. ladybug

    what about the econemy santorum.??we get that you think you represent jesus, but what about jobs?

    February 20, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    ALPHA wrote:

    I salute Mr. Santorum for his stance on many issues. He is correct when he says President Obama gave us his world view that the governemnt should make all these decisions for us, when he decreed his birth control stance to the Catholic Church
    ---------------–
    The initial position taken by the Obama administration has precedent in settled law from decades ago. Why do you think 28 states already have the same policy on their books?

    February 20, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Lee

    Rick needs refinement but any of the GOP candidates could do a better job than our pathetic President. Obama has done his best with the little knowledge he has on our economy and it has been devistating. And lets be truthful Obama is about transforming our society through social engineering which is not how America became great. He is acting restrained now and its disturbing so giving him four more year would tranform the country into Europe.

    February 20, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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