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:

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Bachmann: GOP is extremely 'pro-women'

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

    Please take your medication before you screw this up.Willard is your primary target first.Not very smart are you.

    February 19, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  2. GI Joe.

    From the JERK that started all the cultural and social issues - what a liar.

    February 19, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  3. Scott

    All of this coming from a man who knows how to skillfully cheat the system he rails to protect? I am referring to his effort to claim residency in a state so that he can get steeply discounted tuition for his children. Great Christian values! Of course, with extremist such as Santorum "selective" Christian values are the norm. I tell you, watch this guy and be...very afraid. He rails against Obama setting precedents yet LOVES to tell others how we should be leading our lives! Again, be very worried about this guy.

    February 19, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  4. Bill, NY

    Bet he would not be talking that rubbish if it was about religious freedoms for Muslims or hindus or Mormons for that matter. Beware those who would foist their religious values on others.

    February 19, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  5. wowwhatanut

    Ricky,
    Wow. Dude. What can I say? You seem unhinged. Wipe the foam off your lips and be quiet for awhile. Your insanity is showing

    February 19, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  6. Patricksday

    I think President Obama has truly shown concern and care for the least of us who were left holding the bag after Wall Street created the Largest Hiest in American History. He has been more "Christian" than any Republican, you cant do the things the Republicans have done to Humanity and call them self "Christians", they serve only the Wealthy and care only for the Wealthy.

    February 19, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  7. Jilli

    If Taliban Santorum wasn't so pathetic I might find him funny – I can't find it in me to laugh, I just shake my head in disgust.

    February 19, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  8. John

    Theology does not imply religion?

    Either Senator Santorum is not too bright, or he thinks we are not too bright.

    February 19, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  9. Teena

    A cultural war? What o you c all all of the attacks on women's health? And, continual tax breaks or the wealthiest in the nation?

    February 19, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  10. JBarrett

    Another idiotic argument. Every woman should have access to contraception and abortion because not every woman shares Santorum's religion or religious beliefs, and if he thinks no one should infringe on his religious beliefs, then he should also not infringe on the beliefs of others. If your Holier-Than-Thou Catholics don't approve of birth control..>DON'T USE IT. Simpletons.

    February 19, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I think that Sanoturm is so focused on following church rules that he failes to see that not all church run organizations are really churches... How often has someone gone to a Catholic church to get heart valuve replacement? How often have you seen a Catholic UNIVERSITY has been run from top to bottom (including maintenance staff) of Catholics? I believe that these may serve the greater community and should be treated as such.

    February 19, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    Keep talking social issues and religious bigotry as you do and not a lot else recently and you are guaranteeing your non election as the Republican presidential nominee, or if you do win that A LOSS TO OBAMA IS CERTAIN.
    Your religious views and comparisons to Obama's are flawed anyway and these issues are way down the food chain in the national election for president.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    February 19, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  13. Conrack

    A more accurate headline would be "Santorum Rips Giant Hole in What Little Credibility He Had Outside the Evangelicals"
    Say goodbye, Rick.

    February 19, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  14. LookAhead

    It may fire up the ultra conservatives but it's a stupid move for any politician to start pushing religion like this. He is putting himself at odds with every non-christian, and with moderate christians, and he's backing himself in to a corner. The Obama team will have a field day with this material and Santorum won't get any leverage out of contraception issue. The GOP is digging their own grave in the presidential race, and it might already be too late for them to recover.

    February 19, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  15. independent

    Does this man see the hypocrisy in complaining about the President mixing state and religion, while campaigning for President at an overflow crowd at First Redeemer Church.
    He doesn't. Do you?

    February 19, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  16. muse

    This guy is nuts!!!!

    February 19, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  17. Tired of republican lies

    Dude...you are not gonna get eleted because of your radical viewes....give it up an...we don't subscribe to your stuff

    February 19, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  18. Desmond in Canada

    I cannot believe that such an individual as Santorum is actually being given the time of day. A very sad commentary on the intelligence levels of his audiences. But then.... they elected Bush -TWICE!!

    February 19, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  19. scottf

    Dear Stone Age Rick,

    Please stay out of everyone's religion and bedroom including Obama. Stop the red meat or better stated red herrings to rally your right wing trained seals and concentrate on the real issues like the economy, jobs, education, money in politics, corruption and the growing income equality and resulting deterioration of the middle class. Why don't you discuss the improper role of lobbyists and their undue influence on congress? Why did you lose your reelection by 20 points? as an incumbent. What do Pennsylvania voters know that we will soon learn?

    February 19, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  20. Dallas Gard

    The scince is in. We are in the midst of a period of global warming. That cannot be denied. A widely held view is that man, by burning fossil fuels, is causing an increase in carbon emissions that are trapped in our atmosphere and the result is global warming. This is supported by a body of evidence. But this body of evidence falls short of absolute proof. That hardly deserves the tag "radical environmentalism" and certainly has nothing to do with a "theology not found in the Bible". Science follows the evidence at hand, not some passage in the Bible. lol.

    February 19, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  21. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Rick Santorum is a man who will soon find out that just because YOU are convinced of something, it doesn;t mean the rest of the world is nor do they have to be.... Our country is made up of many degrees of religion. As to what kind of life we have a right to live.and what we believe in, that's our business. You and your beliefs are yours not ours. Every time you open your big mouth criticizing someone elses you lose. .... The office of the presidency does not project a specific religion , which comes from:""Separation of church and state"" in our constitution.

    February 19, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  22. TomNPitt

    I'm glad such a middle of the road, Peacemaker; can stear everyone away from a Cultural War!!
    The Constitution says you have the right to practice where and what you want.
    It doesn't say the Federal Government should enforce your beliefs!

    February 19, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  23. connieb

    This is one scary dude.

    February 20, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  24. arlindsay

    Santorum's criticizes women who use contraceptives as being self-centered and selfish. He also criticizes polices that raise fuel prices, thus lowering our consumption of foreign oil and lowering green-house gases, as evidence that Obama "doesn't care about you or your standard of living". It's selfish to do what you want, if it's not what Santorum wants you to do. There's nothing selfish about consuming all of the worlds oil and leaving none for your grandchildren. I've never seen a more self-absorbed or self-righteous politician.

    February 20, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  25. Dalfrom CA

    State and religion does not mix. So why are the Repubs so intent on bringing Religion into politics.
    Are they suggesting that the President is not a Human being? What is the CHRISTIAN message they are talking about?

    February 20, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
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