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. Columbus

    This guy is unelectable, he's far right and he won't get the female vote of either party nor is he attractive to independents or moderates. It seems tough talk and dramatic oratory plays well in the media.

    February 20, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Fred

    What type of Catholic is Santorum. He says that President Obama has created a "Man servicing Earth" Theology yet a quick search of the Vatican's documents on warming show that Catholics should be supporting good stewardship of the earth which is what most environmentalists and the President are looking for. The GOP believes that the raping of the earth for resources is the best way to go. SO which Church does Santorum belong to Catholic or Republican?

    February 20, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. Pam from Iowa

    The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, so quit trying to shove your antiquated, self-righteous beliefs in our faces Santorum!!
    If the government rules that no insurance company can deny coverage for contraceptives, then it is illegal for any religious organization to not follow that rule!!!

    February 20, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. hypatia

    If this is a culture war, Sanctimonius is Guy Fawkes.....one can only hope he ends up the same way.

    February 20, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. matt houst

    GOP candidates: "Corporations are people and should have all rights as citizens, privacy and the right to do as they see for their own health. WOMEN? Not so much."

    Such is the stupidity of their views in the world. Anyone who consciously votes for any GOP person is either blind, stupid or unaware of this.

    February 20, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Brian

    Does Santorum's desire to run on social issues a signal that the GOP can no longer blast Obama on the economy, because it is turning around?

    February 20, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. S-Hug

    Every time Santorum opens his mouth and crinkles that crooked nose of his, I send Obama another $10.

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

    Too bad hate and discontent are ruling the minds of so many here on these boards, our country and her people deserve to flourish and suceed in a free society. President Obama is not the man who can make that happen, he has one agenda, and its to take over through socialism. Socialism is not the foundation of the United States, period. A free market with healthy competition and consequences for bad decisions is what our country needs, Obama doesnt have the backbone to make it happen. Its also not what he wants, he wants big govt and for all of you to be dependant on the govt so that they can decide your future. There is so much fear over lifestyle rights, abortion choices, and social programs – youre missing the point. At the end of the day, it will always be your choice but not if Obama stays in office. Its time to wake up folks, we could do worse than having a strong christian as a President – we could have four more years of "take over your life" politics. Is that really the USA you want your children to inherit?

    February 20, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Lee wrote:

    And lets be truthful Obama is about transforming our society through social engineering which is not how America became great.
    --------------
    I believe that it was a prominent Republican who called the Ryan Plan "radical right wing social engineering." I believe it was a Republican President who transformed our tax system into a supply side driven system, which has stalled and retarded the middle class for the past 30+ years. I believe the preamble to the Constitution says to "protect the welfare" of the country, which means everyone and not just your friends.

    February 20, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    I didn't think the GOP could ever come up with someone worse than Bush because he was a terrible president, but the frontrunners for the GOP nomination are ALL worse than Bush.

    Thank goodness Obama will be re-elected.

    February 20, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. usualone

    I'd like to see Santorum make this speech not in a church but in a secular surrounding where anyone is invited to hear him. We don't want people bused in with a specific agenda. Let's see how well that goes off. We are not a church driven country; religion is fine for one's personal needs. He is infringing on the rights of the religious and the non-religious alike.

    February 20, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. JoMama

    Just more fear mongering from the right. Did you notice that there isn't anything about the economy? That's because he has nothing. The stock market is back where it was before the economic collapse, jobs are being created.All Santorum has is 'defending the church' rhetoric. If that's his only campaign platform, it'll be a short run for him. No wonder he was beat at re-election by 18%. Even his own state knows he's a sham.

    February 20, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. Jim in San Mateo

    This race is getting more amusing all the time. President Obama will have no problems getting reelected if Rick Santorum is the Republican nominee. I'm seriously thinking about reregistering as a Republican in California so I can vote for him. If he is the Republican nominee, then maybe some of the money Obama has raised can go to getting a Democratic majority back in the House and this country can get back on the road to recovery, rather than the rocky path of obstructionism we've stumbled through these past two years.

    GO RICKY!!!

    February 20, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Vader

    "Defend the church."

    Is he running for office, or bishop of the archdiocese?

    Rev. Rick, keep your sense of religious persecution in check. No one, not even Satan Obama, is after you or your self-righteous followers to make them do ANYTHING that they don't choose to do. There is no "reverse Inquisition" being plotted about which you should feel threatened. Could you say the same?

    And speaking of the Inquisition... wasn't that wholly launched by... the Holy Roman Catholic Church?

    Based on the history and documented actions of organized religeon, I think it more likely that those who differ from your particular belief set have more to fear than the other way around.

    February 20, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Colorado Grandma

    I wonder if Mr. Santorum has a priest with him at all times. He needs to go to confession quite frequently for all the lies he tells. Watch his eyes when he is being interviewed and he is trying to backtrack on what he has said. Blink, close, Blink. Of course, the speeches are being written for him by big business...insurance companies, oil companies, etc. The Catholic Bishops need to take credit for the mess they have created with this looney guy. They have their own agenda.

    I am a "cradle catholic" who is ashamed of what is happening. Mr. Santorum does not speak for me!

    February 20, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. SPA Knight

    Based on the postings so far it is clear that Obama followers are feeling a little threatened. The truth about his ideaology is being exposed and getting difficlut to defend because it isn't based in Christian values as he portrays. He is a statist and everyone of his actions so far reflect that.

    February 20, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Gladys

    I never heard of Christian Sharia Law before. I don't think I like it.

    February 20, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. The Greedy Old Pigs declared class war on US!

    "Has he created a "Class warfare" he sure has."

    LOL at you crazy reality-free rightwing radicals. Your GOBP deathcult has been at war with the poor, the middle class, workers, unions, non-Christians, the environment, regulations and about a hundred more things too numerous to list. Yet you scream "class warfare" when anyone dares fight back. Get over your phony victim role and recognize that your days of caring for the greedy, but not the needy, are over.

    February 20, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. Linda

    Santorum couldn't even get re elected in his home state, and mine, the great state of Pennsylvania! Thanks , my fellow statespeople. How dare he 'rip' President Obama about social values when he is anti women's rights, anti public education, anti environment and anti health care? He would destroy social security and medicare and any help for children. I am sure Jesus is not happy today with Rick Santorum. He has convaluted the Bible and all of Jesus' teachings into his own evil egotistical plan to take away every bit of progress made here to help Americans live better lives. Go ahead and nominate him , GOP. Women alone will vote him off the planet.

    February 20, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. Vader

    Hey @mayfiat...

    Like it or not, the US already has one foot in the "socialist democracy" pool. And frankly, I tend to believe the President is more tolerant of the peculiarities that make up society in general than the alternatives being presented by the ilk of Santorum et al.

    February 20, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. SPA Knight

    Rudy NYC, The Obama Administration has been very successful in protecting all the welfare systems and even added a few I think. The problem is that the moey for those welfare programs are paid for by tax payers who eventually will run out of money.

    February 20, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. Annie

    Why does he always look like he's been crying?

    February 20, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. DaveC

    I heard this same type of drivel from left wing liberal goofballs during the Bush administration and now right wing conservative goofballs during the Obama administration. I just want to know something out of Rick Santorum. When is he going to show concrete evidence to all of us that Obama is planning a "culture" war on America? What proof does he have besides the proof in his goofy delusional mind? Show all of us evidence. That is all I ask. That is all anyone asks.

    That is the trouble with the right wing, goofy, off the wall, religious, tea party conservatives. They are the only ones that are voting right now in the republican primaries. The moderate republicans are appalled by Mitt, Newt and Rick. The conservatives with even half a brain are voting for Mitt but they don't come out in the numbers like the goofballs do. The independent voters that would normally be voting republican cannot see themselves voting for any of the incompetent threesome. That is the reason Rick is ahead. That is the reason he is increasingly becoming more and more irrational with his statements. That is the reason he will lose incredibly well in November if he becomes the republican party candidate.

    February 20, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. lensmith

    SPA should check the facts before posting to sites.

    February 20, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Don't know what is more fun: Watching Santorum rise in the polls based on religio-fascist ideology that will cost him every state in the general or posters like Randy and SPA Nut showing all rational people that there are indeed true wingnuts out there and we need to all vote to make sure they never get anywhere near a position of power.

    February 20, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
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