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. anagram_kid

    If there is any culture war in this country it is the war against the culture of intellectualism started by and being lost quite badly by the GOP/TP. Tell us again how 2012 is all about jobs.

    Obama 2012

    February 20, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  2. Anthony... proud tax payer

    One question.

    HOW IS THIS GOING TO CREATE JOBS AND HELP THE ECONOMY RECOVER?

    The Republicans can no longer beat Obama on economic issues so all they have left are fanning the flames of social ones.
    They stink of desperation.

    Obama 2012

    February 20, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  3. Sam

    Considering most catholics approve/use birth control and Santorum wants it off the table isn't Santorum doing the exact same thing he is accusing Obama of doing? ie, Government intervention.
    We need less Government interference in our lives not more! I don't care what side of the isle you're on both parties want bigger government despite what they say. The government has grown under both democrates and republicans in recent times because the majority of politicians don't represent their voters but represent donors or companies that will hire them as lobbyists after their govt position ends. We need to get $ out of washington and campaigns. That is the only way politicians will get back to working for the people. If this happens you will find the polarization that we see today will lessen.

    February 20, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  4. anagram_kid

    One of Sen. Santorum's many problems is that when he speaks of religion, he only has his in mind.

    Obama 2012

    February 20, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  5. Marry

    Santorum cannot even find any criticism because he himself is so empty! What he is talking about is hogwash and tries to pin a few “strong religious” against the rest of the country. It is not even a question of GOP contra DEM. There are many Republican voters that are ashamed of this clown-circus and will not vote GOP or they will support the President if only to show that they do not support this kind of devious campaign!

    February 20, 2012 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  6. Liska and comrade

    As a gay, muslim, US amry vet~ this guy is whacked. As a staight, christian, US army vet~ this guy is whacked. He should move over to Afghanistan and head up Al Qaeda where his ideas might make more sense. We do not aprove.

    February 20, 2012 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  7. ThinkAgain

    No, RIcky, YOU ARE the one fanning the flames of a culture war. You want to establish a theocracy, in direct violation of the US Constitution, which expressly states ""Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

    Ricky has ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS trying to force his religious views on others – and has NO BUSINESS in the White House.

    February 20, 2012 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  8. ThinkAgain

    "They don't believe you can make these decisions. They need to make these decisions for you," Santorum said, referring to the Obama administration.

    And yet Ricky says that if elected POTUS, he would reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell; pass a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as between one woman and one man; overturn Roe v Wade; and institute changes to our legal system that "follow God's laws."

    In other words, Sanitorium wants to establish a theocracy based on his narrow interpretation of the Bible and Christianity. And yet, he believes this in no way would be the government "making decisions for you."

    The hypocrisy of Ricky and his followers is mind-boggling.

    The only sane choice: Obama/Biden 2012

    February 20, 2012 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  9. Jane

    Santorum is the classic 'whited sepulchre'. All pretty and smooth and religious on the outside, rotten through and through on the inside. All these self-righteous hypocrites and money changers are in for quite a shock when they arrive at the pearly gates expecting to be praised and welcomed......

    February 20, 2012 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  10. c'mon america

    He used the word " theology " but didn't mean for it to have religous undertones ? C'mon America , are people crazy ? Do words no longer mean what their definitions are ? How are we going to communucate ? I guess with press releases that use , you guessed it , more words !

    February 20, 2012 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  11. The Middle

    I believe McCain lost is because he pivot to please the far right. If he stayed a maverick he would of won. It'll be interesting to see how much Santorum would lose by if he was the nominee. Romney is the best candidate to fix the economy. A person loses dignity if he can't feed his family. He has to have a job so he can help himself and others. Santorum wants 0% taxes on the manufacturing industry. Great- but what about agriculture, technology, and other businesses? How come they don't get any help? His plan will only cause more debt, which he voted to increase while in office. I believe Romney's faith guides him to be fiscally conservative such as food storage and spending only what you can afford, save some for rainy day. Romney can explain hus change in views and people won't believe him, yet Santorum can say he's fiscally conservative even when his records say otherwise and they believe him. People are worried about being owned by China but just vote for the anti-abortion or who can say the best rhetoric instead of the best man to fix our great nation. You can forgive some, just not the Mormon. How sad.

    February 20, 2012 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  12. MWM

    Go Rick! Get them wimmin out of men's jobs. Get em back where they belong, in the kitichin, barefoot and pregnant. This is going to cut unemployment, eliminate overcrowding in schools(especially colleges) and cut medical costs by eliminating prenatal care and abortion. You can call it your "Jane Crow" policy.

    February 20, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  13. Anonymous

    I am all for safe birth control and std prevention. Abstaining works. I don't agree with government mandating it over conscientious objection. Most local health departments help with it. We have women's family planning through state medical assistance. It is a special program. I like Santorum, but I couldn't care less about foreign oil, so I think I will stick with Dr. Paul. I know he will defend us and honor our allegiances. I doubt he cares about personal things like birth control and theology.

    February 20, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  14. tedt

    Santorum doesn't have a clue about the economy so he has to attack prez on midevil subjects like treating women like second class citizens what's next if he gets elected, repeal the right to vote for women and blacks, wait that's what the gop is doing now with there voter registration laws the gop is wrong for this country in too many ways to list. Move this country forward not backward. Vote straight democrat.

    February 20, 2012 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rick really needs to stop talking like the Taliban.

    February 20, 2012 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  16. hamsta

    To be called rhetoric means that it is exaggerated.i dont see any exaggerations so im going to say thats the truth.

    February 20, 2012 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  17. Jules

    The more he talks the more it is apparent he hates science and he would rather this country be like it was before all the technical and scientific advances of the last 60 years. Too bad for you, Rick, the toothpaste is already out of that tube. This is really one kind of crazy guy stuck in time. Not presidential material – couldn't expect many innovative ideas from him in a global economy.

    February 20, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  18. master flash

    Santorum is a wedge. the worlds simplest Tool...

    February 20, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  19. TM

    We must also be free from people like Santorum trying to impose radical theology. Of the two, Santorum is a far greater threat to society.

    February 20, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  20. Chief Media Urologist

    Let Santorum preach.
    Let Obama lead.

    Obama 2012.

    February 20, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  21. sithlord1

    Santorum would blow away obama in a debate!

    February 20, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  22. awasis

    Keep talking Rick, you're digging yourself a fine hole for the general election if you get the nomination.

    February 20, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  23. duke5343

    ramped up his rhetoric

    NO he is speaking the Truth, Obama is taking US into Socialism – he is a believer in Share the Wealth & spread the wealth, he has done little to help in this recession- it has become self correcting NOT from his actions

    February 20, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  24. DENNA

    How nice that this simpleton can find a simple-minded audience to roar when he spews his stupidity. RIck Santorum is not a good fit for this country. His narrow view ignores anyone who is not a white male. Any women in his audience who are approving of the nonsense coming from his mouth are foolish. Let him win the GOP nomination, he will never get through the general election because the rest of us are not impressed with the foolishness coming out of his mouth. Looking at the field of candidates the GOP have, I am beginning to believe that the Republicans don't really want to regain the White House and that is fine with me.

    February 20, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  25. mittens

    Translation? More "blah-blah-blah" from this laughable pinhead.

    February 20, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
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