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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Paul: Santorum has an 'atrocious voting record'


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

    The republicans do not have answers to the nations problems – but they do want to prevent the opposition party and especially this president from proposing any. People need to pay close attention to the rhetoric in this race. When has any one of the candidates actually proposed solutions other than to keep the tax breaks for the rich in place so as not to discourage the "job creators". That didn't work for GWB and it won't work for them. The only thing the republicans have had against this president is that he is different. In truth, he is different and that has nothing to do with the color of his skin. He is different in that he wants to see the country progress. He is a humble man and a gentleman regardless of whether you support his policies. It is fine for others to have different policy views, but I am done allowing people to demonize those they disagree with. The problem they are try to overcome is that most people like the president, so they have to create scenerios of reasons to mistrust of him by alluding to the fact that he isn't really who he appears to be. That is pathetic and I wish more people would address it and put this people on the spot. You see what happened when Bob Scheffer asked Santorum specifically what it was he meant by what he said – he had to make something up. We know he made it up b/c the environment has nothing to do with theology and even if you try to follow that train of thought, Obama still comes out on top b/c while no one is saying that mankind serves the earth, it stands to reason that protecting it from being stripped of all its resources, given to us by God is the more prudent policy.

    February 20, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. joshua

    Obama has done nothing to help this country. He had 2 full years to pass any jobs bill he wanted since the Democrats had control of the House and Senate. But he passed his government take over of health care instead. He lied about how much it would cost. He increased the national debt by 33%. He tried to pass card check and green gas emissions but couldn't get enough democrats to go along because they knew it would cost more Americans their jobs. Everything Obama has tried to get done hurts the American economy. Aside from his union bail out from the porkulous bill and the baill out of GM and Chrysler, he has done nothing. Now we have gone 3 years without any kind of budget even though it is requried by law. This country can not take another 4 years of gutting of the middle and lower class. And forget about the 8% unemployment. It's really closer to 17% because, yes, he lies about that too.

    February 20, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. Linny

    That man is dangerous!!!

    February 20, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. Anonymous

    I've known many, many Christians who lie their way out of situations of their own making, but I've never known one quite as mentally sick as Santorum. Dude's a walking time b0mb of fanaticism. Then again, Mitt Romney isn't much better.

    February 20, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. coy4one

    Defend the non-profit community. Why is Santorum standing up for the non-profit community. He donates the least out of any candidate for President to non-profits. He will say whatever he thinks the public wants just to get elected. He has about as much chance of being elected as I do.

    February 20, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. bppack

    santorum: leader of the American Taliban

    February 20, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. ShawnDH

    I don't want some Medieval religious fanatic all up in our personal lives, trying to force his deranged and backwards views into law. It's un-American. I'm voting for Obama.

    February 20, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. Vivian, TX

    As I Catholic married woman who uses birth control when I'm not trying to get pregnant, I would like to thank Mr. Santorum for screaming his misogynistic opinions and all around backward thinking in his race to become Pope. Wait, he's running for President of the U.S.? Are you sure???

    February 20, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Chumlee

    Obama 2012!

    February 20, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. CAWinMD

    Uh, Rick, "Theology" means the study of religion. How can you "not imply religious overtones" when you use the word theology? Either you're dumb, or you think the voters are dumb. Neither is attractive.

    February 20, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    Santorum is making a big mistake turning into a cultural war about conservative family values. He will turn off moderate and independent voters with his extremism, just what GOP political strategists fear if Romney is not the nominee.

    February 20, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Randy wrote:

    "...Liberals and selfish attitudes will destroy this country I fear. ..."
    --------------------
    Conservatives always say, "It is my money and I want to keep it. I'm Taxed Enough Already." Meanwhile, they want to start war with anyone and everyone who is "not one of us" without wanting to pay for it.

    February 20, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. pprty

    Beware. Santorum speaks his handler's words. He cannot stand with leaders of the world to make the world better, instead he would foster hatred.

    February 20, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. davec.0121

    Santorum is living, breathing proof that Thomas Jefferson was right: we need a wall (and a damned high one) between church and state. The more that Santorum rises in the polls, the more he drags his religious views into the process. He is, of course, entitled to them, but he is not entitled to force them on other people, even if he does cloak them as "policy". His speeches and positions calling for civil laws to "comport" with his religious beliefs, already extreme, are now beginning to verge on a Christian Sharia. And of course any one who disagrees wth him is not only mistaken, but evil and ungodly. Equating environmental protectionism with a "non-biblical theology" (an very illuminating choice of words) is as ridiculous as it is frightening. He now seems to be running for Ayatollah, not president.

    February 20, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Bystander

    To me, Obama has been acting reasonably and be a likable person. He does what a good president is supposed to do, to protect the welfare of the Amercian people. To accuse Obama to start a cultural war is ludicrous. I don't see any truth in Santorum's accusation. In contrary, I saw the Republicans to start cultural war all the time. It's amazing!

    February 20, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. Fair is Fair

    @ Rsprings – thanks for the chuckle on a Monday morning.

    February 20, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Meki60

    its a day to remember Presidents past who founded this great nation, but its overshadowed by today's President Garbage

    February 20, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    joshua wrote:

    Now we have gone 3 years without any kind of budget even though it is requried by law.
    --------------------
    Budgets are not law, they are proposals. House spending measures are law. Senate Republican filibusters have blocked any "budgets" being voted on in the Senate since President Obama took office.

    Democrats didn't exactly have a "filibuster" proof majority in the Senate for two years. Ted Kennedy passed in the summer of 2009. Prior to his passing, Democrats had 58 seats, Republicans had 40 seats, and Independents had 2 seats. One of those Independents was named Joe Lieberman, who has been against Pres. Obama since the 2008 campaign.

    February 20, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. ShawnDH

    WRONG Joshua. Obama has done an incredible job turning this country away from the cliff we were led to by the past administration. By every standard, the economy has improved under Obama. When Obama took office, the US was LOSING 800,000 jobs a month. Now we're gaining jobs again. The recession is over, the financial markets and the auto industry have revived, and of course the Affordable Care Act has already insured 2.5 MILLION more people and is in no way "a government takeover of healthcare." Stop lying. Don't pretend like you care about the Middle Class if you plan to vote Republican. Their ideology has been destroying the Middle Class for 30 years. Suddenly you care and blame Obama? No.

    February 20, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. Surfer George

    Santorum strikes me as a McCarthy for Christ.

    February 20, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. Trailoftears

    Rick Santorum I just want you to know, The Earth Does Not Need HUMANS!! It was doing just fine without US. But I would bet my LIFE!! That HUMAN need EARTH more, and we have done far more damage to Mother Earth and are just learning how to manage the resources EARTH provides. And just remember EARTH is always cleaning up after our mess i.e. Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Bikini Atoll, Hiroshima, Air Pollution, Toxic Waste Dumping, and De-forestation and let’s not talk about the animals man has driven into EXTINTION. So RS my point is HUMANS have not been very good Stewarts of MOTHER EARTH.

    February 20, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. The Greedy Old Pigs declared class war on US!

    "Obama has done nothing to help this country. He had 2 full years to pass any jobs bill he wanted since the Democrats had control of the House and Senate."

    Nice to see another fact-free, low-information, low-IQ GOBP deathcult follower spreading another Big Lie. The Dems had a total of about 5 non-consecutive months with a veto-proof majority. Of course, in your fact-free world, you extreme rightwing radicals didn't waste time trying to block Franken and Ted Kennedy didn't take ill and die. Just keep making up more lies and spreading your fear, ignorance, propaganda and hate. Because other than that, you've got nothing!

    February 20, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. Henry Miller

    "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,"

    And those who would deny women abortions are doing exactly the same thing! They're trying to impose their ideology on people who do not share it.

    Both sides of this issue–Obama trying to force his Big Government on people and the anti-abortion crowd trying to force Big Religion on people are utterly, egregiously, wrong.

    All the Big Whatevers in this country–Big Government, Big Business, Big Labour, Big Religion–all boil down the same contemptible, frightening, thing: Big Tyranny, a willingness to force other people to live according to their demands.

    February 20, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. Meki60

    any of the candidates would be better than Obama

    February 20, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  25. jpmichigan

    Saintly Santorum's halo is tilting to the extreme right and will turn off independents, who do believe the freedom of religion and yet the separation of church and government. If in the Whit House he may just ban a majority of women's rights that have been fought for , for decades. Where are you plans for the economy and job creation? Your plans not those taken from others. Santorum and Romney are Washington insiders. They have benefited by their past actions involving the Republican establishment . Santorum with his earmarks and Romney with the money allotted by congress to help him save the Olympics. Neither one will beat Obama, but we do need change of a different sort than what Obama is offering. Gingrich has faults, but has shown from the pass that he is not the establishment and has fought the establishment and the left wing media, and the American people did benefit, under Regan and Clinton and Gingrich.

    February 20, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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