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:

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. JD

    If Santorum doesn't win the Republican nomination, he could always run as a Theocrat.

    February 20, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. justin

    LOL...take the same words and attach them to a different picture and we will either change from disagreeing with those words or afreeing with them. In that, we are all the same- ahhh but we protest. Simple test anyone can perform. Funny, the posts liking Santorum to the pope while there was so much prtotection overe the Wright attachment with Obama. Thus, as poilticians know- there is no reason to listen to an6y off us. Most of us are too protective of what we have or think to change. On top of that, it is clear the anti-catholicism of the late 1800's has survived.

    February 20, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Paul1st

    Santorum is accusing Obama for starting culture wars because Obama does not hold the same to the conservative Catholic beliefs that Santorum espouses. So who really is starting culture wars? For those independents, moderate Republicans, and less conservative Catholics, replace the name Obama with your own name in Santorum's statements about theology or faith and see if you believe that Santorum is your candidate of choice.

    February 20, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. rock woman

    Santorum will defend nothing and nobody but himself.

    February 20, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. Bushy Walrus

    Obama 2012! by a landslide!

    February 20, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    Americans should always be concerned about concentrations of power, whether it be in the government, business, religion, or labor: the key to tolerating the situation the best and hopefully striking a balance, is asking yourself what instiution can you most likely have an impact on the most? Business, labor and religious decisions are made with little or no imput from the rank and file, and they in turn affect how the government operates( or does not). Vote, people: this is the only way to ensure there is some semblence of balance with the other parts of our society, and vote so YOU control the government, not some oligarchy of labor or business or a theocracy of people believing they have God on speed-dial.

    February 20, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. GOP Brain Dead

    Coming from the voice of fear and ignorance it does not suprise me.

    February 20, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. allardkent

    "portraying the president as a leader intent on starting a cultural war"

    What a poisonous, foolish man. Like every other GOP candidate who has ascended to the top of the polls, Santorum is revealing himself as dangerously psychologically flawed ideologue. Like the others, he will talk himself into the political scrapheap – but at what cost to our Republic?

    It is Santorum who is starting a culture war, a war whose end game, if Santorum would win, would undermine the foundation of our Constitution. Presidents take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and Santorum appears to have taken an oath to uphold the dogma of the Universal Church. You can't do both.

    He should follow his passion and enter the priesthood – preferably aand order that takes a vow of silence.

    February 20, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    justin wrote:

    On top of that, it is clear the anti-catholicism of the late 1800's has survived.
    -------------
    As I recall, it was the Republican Party that accused JFK of becoming a pawn of the Pope. As I recall it was the Republican Party that accused BHO of becoming a pawn of Wright, Muhammed, and The Devil. As we can see today, it still is the Republican Party that uses religion as a wedge issue to confuse and distill the electorate.

    February 20, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. uponthisrock

    What a long way we have spiraled down since Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington. "Don't you dare mention God in any form or context." If you want to know where we are headed just keep God out of the equasion. "If you deny me before
    men, I will deny you before My Father in Heaven." (Jesus) We shall reap what we sow.

    February 20, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. FIELD1stSGT

    If someone critisizes Obama he is a bigot or a racist. Bu then on the other hand when some say such horrible unsubstaniated things about Palin or other GOP people they're just making comments. What double standards we do have. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT OBAMA HAS NO SOCIAL AGENDA EXCEPT the DESTRUCTION OF THE UNITED STATES. IT IS JUST SAD THAT YOU HIS SUPPORTERS DO NOT HAVE THE BRAIN CAPABILITIES OF UNDERSTANDING THIS. OBAMA THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER.

    February 20, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Can we move on?

    Sanctorum is just Palin in a suit. He's dumb as a bag of hammers, can only give cute little one-liners, and is the darling of the extreme right because he is "a Christian", when in fact, he is hateful, bigoted, and self-gratifying. When will these people learn that their brand of politics is completely unreasonable? Sanctorum is having his 15 minutes of fame. He'll fade into oblivion very soon. What Sanctorum and others like him keep forgetting conveniently, is that this is a country of separation of church and state. You cannot bring your religion into the White House. What he is also forgetting is that there is freedom of religion in this country. If you do not share the same religious views as others, it's OK. It is poorly-educated, badly-informed people like Santorum that are an extreme danger to what this country stands for.

    February 20, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. Canadian Interloper

    I find the fact that the Republicans may choose Santorum over Romney hilarious!! The Republicans are digging their own grave if they nominate this guy!! He has no chance against Obama!! Santorum is a polarizing figure and it is so obvious that he will not win the independent vote. I was hoping for Romney, but if Santorum is the nominee, get ready for a second Obama administration.

    February 20, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Name?

    He's just trying a tactic that worked for G. Dubbya...and see where that got us? Don't try to hide behind faith and pick at someone else's when ur just as ignorant and sinful as anyone else. G.Dub touted his faith mucho yet he ran this country into the ground. And let's not get into these Repubs who aren't trying to even help get the country on track yet usually tow the line of having Christian faith. Please...

    February 20, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. carly

    Let Santorum move the GOP further and further to the right and they will lose by a larger and larger margin in November. Obama will wipe these right wing clowns up without a problem.

    February 20, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. honeybe

    Santorum is definitely getting a warm reception in GA. He is feeding right into that strange southern mindset, and should do well there.

    February 20, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    allardkent wrote:

    It is Santorum who is starting a culture war, a war whose end game, if Santorum would win, would undermine the foundation of our Constitution. Presidents take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and Santorum appears to have taken an oath to uphold the dogma of the Universal Church. You can't do both.
    -------------
    Santorum is already on the record clearly stating that is exactly what he will do. He appeared on several Christian radio stations in the fall saying that he disagreed with the Constitution's suggestion that church and state should be seperate. He clearly stated that "a Santorum administration would be driven by my Christian values."

    February 20, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Rosslaw

    Santorum is a devout Catholic. Really? American Taliban is far more on point.

    February 20, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. hapalion

    That's it church, hand in your tax free status. You want to run the country, try paying for it.

    February 20, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Dr Albert

    uponthisrock
    What a long way we have spiraled down since Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington. "Don't you dare mention God in any form or context." If you want to know where we are headed just keep God out of the equasion. "If you deny me before
    men, I will deny you before My Father in Heaven." (Jesus) We shall reap what we sow

    NObody should use GOD as an offensive weapon in politics. It's akin to blasphemy. And just plain wrong.

    February 20, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. newz4i@yahoo.com

    Santorum's platform is a mandated Christian faith for all of us.

    February 20, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. Mark

    Ahhhh...Santorum the religious freak. He probably believes that our freedom is endowed upon us by our creator- not other men. Heck, I like the idea that the Obama's of the world, the George Bushes, the Nixons, Johnsons, the Kings and Queens , the Hitlers and Stalins – anyone takig power in any way they can, shall be the one to mandate the weight of our freedom. Talk about the fairness issue- why should one man dictate to us all what we should believe or how we should lead our lives- whether you and I agree with each other, neither should dictate to the other how the other should live. Instead, we should find ways we can both live without dictating to the other. That is tougher but I would prefer working with that frustration than fearing who will dictate to me or the power to dictate to another. For me, this issue is larger and I will be voting differently and I will vote for that person who believe there is a creator who endows freedom upon us and he, a mere man, is to protect that freedom. The lesser issues I willbe free to raise my voice to oppose and work to overturn.

    February 20, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Anonymous

    "IT IS OBVIOUS THAT OBAMA HAS NO SOCIAL AGENDA EXCEPT the DESTRUCTION OF THE UNITED STATES."

    When an extremely rabid rightwinger, who implies an ability to read minds, posts in all caps, starting with "IT IS OBVIOUS" those pretty certain clues that the gibberish that follows will be the words of an idiot. You did not disappoint.

    PS: Please provide examples of "such horrible unsubstaniated things about Palin or other GOP people...".

    February 20, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Jeetu

    I thought I am a citizen of and live in a secular country. Now here is a Presidential candidate who says he wishes to protect the church, menaing that he believes it to be a chirstian (and even there a catholic) country. If Mr. Santorum wishes to protect the rights of the church, how about a mosque or a temple or even another relihion. If I am a muslim, then I am allowed to have four wives, would Mr. Santorum protect my religious freedom to have that? If I am a sichk, I am allowed to carry a sword all the time and also have other beliefs, would Mr. Santorum protect those?

    The fact is that no one religion can dominate in a secular society. Therefore, it is Mr. Santorum who is decaring a culrural war and not President Obama. Mr. Santorum is the one who wants to destroy the secular nature of USA and its constituion and not Mr. Obama. We canot allow Mr. Santorum to destroy what has taken centuries to accomplish. He must not be allowed to become President as he shows no understanding of the values we Americans hold.

    No wonder his own colleagues in the senate don't support him or endorse his candidacy.

    February 20, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Somewhere above, someone pointed out that the 1st Amendment was written *to protect us* from people like Santorum.

    February 20, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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