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. Annette

    So when a theology believes in banning birth control, you do not believe the government should override on behalf of women and their right to health; but when a muslim wants to practice shariah, it would then be okay for the government to override that theocracy??? Christians, Catholics, other religious theologists ... please realize that when you force your religious beliefs into government, you set the precedent for shariah law to do the same. You say big givernment is forcing you to 'have access' to free birth control. Seriously??? YOU are forcing your bass-akwards beliefs on those all around you. YOU want big government in our personal lives so long as it agrees with YOUR theology. Stop. Please just think about what you are doing. Practice your religion. You have the freedom to do so. Quit trying to weave your religion into government. Separation of church and state. When you seek prayer in schools, please realize that you are only seeking YOUR prayer in schools and not prayers of other religions. Now take a step further into reality and realize that by doing this YOU are setting precedent to allow ALL prayers of ALL religions in school. You do not want that. I do not want that. I want the freedom to practice my religious beliefs in my home. I do not want that freedom to be taken away ... taken away by you religious people of all things. Do you not see the irony!! It's scary. You are literally fighting against your own right. It's amazing.

    February 20, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Bob in Ohio

    Mr. Santorum needs to recheck the Bible and find out what it truly means to be a Christian before making any more statements.

    February 20, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. nytw

    Rick Santorum will make America a Christian Nation again. Anyone who doesn't believe in the One True God can feel fee to leave.

    February 20, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Bob Ramos

    Church is God's House and supposed to be for worship and not for spreading political bile. The congregation must have been composed of white middle class/upper class right wing wackos.

    February 20, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. Butch in the Carolinas

    Too many NEGATIVE ads! "HE WHO THROWS MUD, LOSES GROUND! Keep that in mind! Vote for ROMNEY!

    February 20, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. detada

    First time I ever heard that "Theology" was not a religious term.

    February 20, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. Molly

    My God is a religion to himself. I eliminated the middlemen years ago. Don't call me an atheist. Believe in God and
    vote for Obama in 2012.

    February 20, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. J. Daniels

    Has anyone considered the parallel between what the McGovernites did to the Democrtic Party in 1972 (and the aftermath) and what the Tea Party advocates might be doing to the Republican Party and the resulting aftermath? Any comment, Wil Cain?

    February 20, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. JL

    Ashley, standing up for religious freedoms is only considered "rhetoric" to a seedy liberals like yourself.

    February 20, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Terry

    All of this from a man who lost his United States Senate Seat by 18%. Talk about 1 in 5 voters turning on you!

    February 20, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Sy2502

    Santorum should NEVER be president for the simple reason he doesn't have even a passing knowledge of the Constitution of the United States. The country doesn't "defend the church" because it can't, it's unconstitutional for the government to defend any church. Even a child who read the First Amendment would get that.

    February 20, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. rtbrno65

    I can't believe they are actually going to nominate this guy. This will be just as bad for Republicans as George McGovern was for the Democrats in 1972. He is an ideologically motivated radical reactionary who is dishonestly projecting onto his opponenets what he himself wants to do. He wants a cultural war, so he accuses Obama of wanting a cultural war. He takes money from lobbyists, so he accuses Gingrich of taking money from lobbyists. He represents a narrow interest, and then accuses Romney of representing a narrow interest. No one took him seriously so he was allowed to slowly gain momentum, and now this crackpot is looking like he will be heading a national Presidential ticket. This guy has no business being President. He does not intend to hold up constitutional principles, and he wants to turn the clock back to where it has long ceased to be. If this guy gets elected than the US has truly become a corrupted and declining nation. I just don't see him winning though. He is too unlikeable and his views are too out of synch with main stream America. Obama might just get re-elected in a landslide if they really go and nominate Santorum.

    February 20, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Molly

    My God is a religion unto himself. I eliminated the middlemen years ago. Don't call me an atheist. Believe in God and
    vote for Obama in 2012.

    February 20, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. jbird

    If Jesus came down and actually stepped into these stump speeches, he'd wag a disapproving finger, and then strike them down with the next gesture. A misuse of christianity on the GOP's part. Real christians would believe you can manipulate the word, for your own selfish political goals

    February 20, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. CommonSense52

    Santorum is mentally unbalanced and has displayed such ever since he took to the Senate floor in his crusade against gays displaying the venomous hate of a psycopath. .It was only a matter of time before this evil man took his views to the general public and projects his desire to control onto everyone else, incapable of taking responsibility for his many deficiencies and dysfunctions, abusing religion to hide from himself.

    I. for one, think this man has a personality disorder who needs treatment. I take heart that thinking people see through the charade. Fortunately,. there aren't enough sheep to elect this lunatic though he poisons the sheep component of the populace, deliberately fanning hate and every sort of divide.

    February 20, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Santorum is having his say...for now until the dog catcher puts a muzzle on him.

    February 20, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Dave

    Man! I sure hope Santorum gets the GOP nomination. I hope, I hope!

    Obama 2012!!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. Jonny

    If this guy becomes president, I will be hoping that the men from the grassy knoll are still alive.

    February 20, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. Annie, Atlanta

    We have serious problems in this country, our economy, no jobs, etc., and this is what he wants to run on? Keep your religion to yourself Rick. It's personal, and needs to stay that way. Your religious beliefs have no place in our government, and you have no business in our bedrooms. God I'm sick of this crap, men trying to dictate and legislate women, religion, marriage, and who should and shouldn't have civil rights. Ugh!

    And defend the family? Really? But get rid of Planned Parenthood, neonatal care, public school educations, knock welfare and food stamps. What? Does he think we're all as stupid as the small percentage who support him?

    February 20, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Sy2502

    Santorum is the perfect example of how religious fundamentalism becomes a form of mental illness. I completely agree with the other poster who says Santorum is mentally unbalanced.

    February 20, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    SPA Knight wrote:

    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 money for those welfare programs are paid for by tax payers who eventually will run out of money.
    -------------------
    You think wrong. The Obama administration has not added any new entitlements, that was George W. Bush and his Prescription Drug Program. Seeing how most of the welfare, entitlement and funding money goes to red states, I can see why the few job holders in those red states would be upset. They look around, and see a bunch of freeloaders, living off the labors of those who pay taxes. On average, red states have the lowest employment rates and blue states the highest. Think again.

    February 20, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Strangways

    what is this madness with religion?! look at the Middle East – their religious focus makes for smooth living, doesn't it? I guess since Santorum and the other republicans HAVE no solutions or clear thinking to offer, might as well focus on religion. Hopefully it ain't gonna work and Rick can go back to pulling in his annual $3 Million as a lobbyist.

    February 20, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. Jonny

    Defend the church????? Are you friggin kidding me. I don't understand how a statement like that is not a nail in his political coffin. He would have been ridiculed by our founding fathers

    February 20, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The Obama camp is nervous because blah, blah, blah, blah, blah..........
    ------------------------
    Let me make this perfectly clear for you and yours: The ONLY thing that the Obama camp is nervous about – and they have every right to be nervous about – is a lack of voter turnout due to the deplorable, and absolutely confounding and unexplainable way the GOPeeing Teatards are throwing this election his way. You can start with the lack of caliber, gravitas, intelligence, and patriotism of Rmoney, The Saint, and The Grinch and continue downhill from there.
    Every other week you poor people are hanging your hopes and dreams on a different peg. I'm sure that if the nominating process were a little longer even poor Huntsman -the only person truly able to give President Obama any kind of intelligent competition- would've risen in the polls.
    The GOP field is so conclusively pathethic and devoid of talent and leadership that President Obama is afraid that we won't show up to the polls to vote because he is so the obvious and ONLY choice.

    Get out there and vote people. The GOP is counting on us not showing up to the polls as well.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America. VOTE!!!

    February 20, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. Barry G.

    Did Rick say anything about how much money he's taken from lobbyists?

    Did he say that he would clean up the corruption of the lobbyists in D.C.?

    Did he say that lobbyists come to our congressional leaders and say: We have about $200,000 that we're going to spend in your district. If you support our plan to drill oil or gas (or other project), we'll use the money to support you and get you re-elected. If you oppose us, we'll use the money to support your opponent and make sure you're out of office by the next term?

    Did he say that so many of our congressional leaders sell out our country, because they're greedy and self-serving cowards and are unwilling to stand up to these thugs?

    February 20, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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