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. Randy

    All the anti christian hate comments on here help convince me that Rick Santorum is probably the best man for the job. We need a man who lives his life on good christian values. And who knows where he stands. VOTE RICK SANTORUM

    February 20, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  2. Victor Nunnally

    Evangelical and Mormon mentalities have infected this race as well as this country. President Obama is not possessed by his faith. He did not become the leader of a free capitalist nation by shoving his faith down our throats. I walk and talk with God all the time but I shall never listen to an Institutional Zealot. The idea of a Theocracy feels me with much dread.

    February 20, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  3. larms

    The hypocracy is so over the top that it makes one almost speechless. Rick Santorum will NOT become the President of the United States. That is my prediction, but until or unless he starts getting some push back on the outrageous statements he makes, he will continue and it will get worse. How dare anyone question another person's faith? Faith is a deeply personal thing and to snear the way he does as though he is smelling something rotten when he speaks of the President's theology is highly insulting. It amazes me that the republicans feel so comfortable to behave towards the President with such disrespect. He has never once nor would he do such a thing. In fact, he is always a gentleman, even when someone is wagging their finger in his face. I can not even imagine why the secret service were not all over Jan Brewer over that incident. I'm digressing, but the treatment this man has received is a disgrace and I'm calling on everyone who is outraged to speak out b/c the news media certainly hasn't.

    February 20, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. swisscottage

    Unbelievable that in a country with such extraordinary intellectual capital and such a wealth of organizational leadership the US will basically be left to choose between Obama and whoever the Republicans nominate.

    February 20, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. WatchDawg

    I've seen this picture, this stance, this posturing once before...hmmm...

    OH YEAH, draw a little moustache and go 70+ years and we've have all seen this before...HISTORY hopefully will not repeat...

    February 20, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  6. ChcukB

    Rick said Obama's theology is not biblically based, then he denies that he was criticizing Obama's religious faith? Rick, theology is a church's beliefs explained. It is all about religion. He is either pretty dumb or a bold faced liar, or, perhaps, both. Rick would have been better off fessing up to attacking Obama on his religion; his fans wouldn't have objected. He must be concerned such talk will turn off independents.

    February 20, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  7. Myths

    You can disagree on policies, but why does it have to be a personal and private matter as one's beliefs? You are running for the highest office in the land, not for sainthood, which you don't qualify for anyway.

    February 20, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  8. Curt

    There has been a cultural war in this country for over a century. The only reason Sanctimonious is worried about it is because his "culture" is starting to lose to their foothold on what "THEY" think America should be.

    February 20, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. indyreader

    The idea of Rick Santorum being president is not one to be tossed aside lightly, but rather to be hurled with great force.

    On the off chance that he makes it to the general election, he'll be slaughtered by Obama. And that's a good thing.

    February 20, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  10. Randy

    The radical left is out in force today. Just thought about it. The comments on here this morning must be all the people that are sitting at home waiting on their welfare checks while all the good hard working conservatives are out working so Obama has money he can take to give to you. Liberals and selfish attitudes will destroy this country I fear. You people should all get your Bibles and read it and believe it seriously. This country could so be changed for the better. No I would never force someone to be a christian but I am thankful for a candidate who speaks the truth and knows where he stands. RICK SANTORUM FOR PRESIDENT

    February 20, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. Anne

    Somehow, the more he speaks, the more I believe he's the devil in disguise... If by some evil twist of fate he does get elected to the presidency, then the world will end in 2012!

    February 20, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. Anonymous

    The thing that caught my eye is the statement that " the audience " roared " with applause ". How many were in the audience ? No matter how many were there they are just like sheep. Too bad people can't eduacate themselves beyond what the church tells them to believe. BTW–I believe in God, but I believe that God is not Christian, Jew, Muslim, etc. He is everybody's God.

    February 20, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. Laura

    Brian Ellis is exactly right. Stranger things have happened so I do not count Santorum out. However, if he is the GOP nominee, the GOP will go down in flames. Can you spell landslide? This from a normally pessimistic liberal who is now cautiously optimistic. Go Obama!

    February 20, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. topper

    Ahhhhh...the religious agenda........now it's all coming to light......

    February 20, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. Florida Joe

    Oh please let this hate monger whacknut be the Repub candidate.......Will make the Goldwater loss look like it was a close call for LBJ
    Disgusting............

    February 20, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  16. Saboth

    It always works with the fundamentalists. They love thinking of themselves as prosecuted martyrs in a minority. Play up the whole "family, values, and church" is under "siege" by the government, and these people eat it up. The real surge here is caused by the whole: "should companies provide the same healthcare for their workers, even if they are a religiously based company?" issue? This is the WHOLE reason he has a surge right now, because he's the only "religious" candidate left in the race, and he's playing it up.

    February 20, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. Namryan

    This is what happens when you confuse philosophy with theology (a smaller part of philosophy). Sure he must have skipped quite a few classes on his way to his JD. Or maybe he got it from the catholic equivalent of a madrasah...

    February 20, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. AJ

    Can't blame Rickey...just another politician trying to get a vote. Everyone needs to vote with their conscious. Unfortunately all the choices are horrible. Gov trying to impose religion...vice versa...what a paradox. Not sure what church Rick is speaking from...the Catholic Church has policy preventing political or candidate support. So apparently there are other Christian denominations supporting him.

    February 20, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. desmond24

    Mr. Santorum, you may get the religiose in certain states to listen to your tirades and even receive what appears to be positive feedback by demeaning another individual (in an Oh!, so Christian manner), (i.e., President Obama). However, should you not understand the election process, you will have to branch out into the other states to gain support from intelligent, non-superstitious, Democrat and Independent voters as well. Well, guess what, you do not have a prayer in that regard. Time to hang it up Mr. Santorum!

    February 20, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. Linda

    I am a catholic, I have never let the Pope or Priest or Church tell me I couldn't practice birth control and they never will and many many catholic women practice birth control daily and have for years, now this man running for President wants to tell me and all women that we can't have abortions or practice birth control or join the Military or work outside the home.....sounds like he want the Government to get more involved about our rights than Obama ever thought of.....this man panders to the far right religious tea party and doesn't know how to seperate church from state.....the GOP is doing the same thing,,,sitting on their thumbs while more and more fruitcakes take over their party, just like when they didn't know how to shut up Palin or the tea party that is trying to take control of the Republican party.....this wil cost them the election in November. It's Ok to be conservative, but there is a line they cross when they forget that there are liberals, moderates and indendents out there that don't share their views.

    February 20, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  21. GI Joe.

    I believe him to be the latest in a long line of Jim Jones' in this world.

    His followers will follow him to hell and claim it is heaven.

    Watch the faces of the people in his crowd – they adore him more than they adore Christ. Sickening.

    February 20, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  22. jim

    he's sounding more and more like the taliban. "do what I say because it's god's will"

    i would ask "which god are you talking about and where's your proof that god even exists"

    February 20, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. yuhmad

    He who lives in a glass house should not caste stones........

    February 20, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. tffl

    I wonder if the "non-profit community" members he is concerned about protecting include the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, etc., or if it just includes churches and such?

    February 20, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  25. Rsprings

    HOW TO START EACH DAY WITH A POSITIVE OUTLOOK

    1. Open a new file in your computer.
    2. Name it 'Barack Obama'.
    3. Send it to the Recycle Bin.
    4. Empty the Recycle Bin.
    5. Your PC will ask you: ‘Do you really want to get rid of Barack Obama
    6. Firmly click ‘YES’
    7. Feel better?

    GOOD – Tomorrow we’ll do Nancy Pelosi.

    February 20, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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