Santorum dings Romney while defending contraception stance
March 19th, 2012
08:57 AM ET
3 years ago

Santorum dings Romney while defending contraception stance

(CNN) - Rick Santorum, making a round of morning show appearances ahead of a day of campaigning in Illinois Monday, took harsh aim at chief rival Mitt Romney, asserting the former Massachusetts governor "doesn't have a core."

Appearing on CBS, Santorum reiterated a point he's made on the campaign trail: that Romney's past support of government health care in Massachusetts wouldn't provide enough contrast with President Barack Obama in November's general election.

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"It really has to do with what your principles and your core is," Santorum said. "I have a core. I'm someone who has really strong convictions about the limited role of government, about the importance of having a strong defense, you know, lowering taxes and getting regulation down. That's a sharp contrast with Mitt Romney, who is for Romneycare, the blueprint for Obamacare, advocated for Romneycare, advocated for mandates at the federal level. This is someone who doesn't have a core. He's been on both sides of almost every single issue in the past ten years."

Santorum, who lost Sunday's Puerto Rico primary to Romney, said his opponent for the 2012 GOP nomination had supported Obama's position when it came to government intervention in private industry.

"We've got a government that's trying to take over different sectors of the economy. Mitt Romney joined Barack Obama in a lot of those takeovers," Santorum said.

Romney did help enact a statewide health care law in Massachusetts when he was governor of that state, which has been criticized by Republicans as the model for Obama's law. Romney also famously disagreed with Obama's bailout of the American auto industry, writing an op-ed headlined "Let Detroit go Bankrupt."

Romney's campaign responded to Santorum's attacks Monday, saying they were a response to his loss in Puerto Rico.

"Rick Santorum is a Washington insider who is lashing out at Mitt Romney because he was embarrassed in Puerto Rico yesterday," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. "In 2008, when Sen. Santorum was speaking candidly, he said, 'if you want a conservative as the nominee of this party, you must vote for Mitt Romney.' Now, Rick's changed his tune. This sounds like another case of Rick Santorum abandoning his principles for his own political advantage."

On MSNBC, Santorum defended the attention he pays on the campaign trail to slamming an Obama administration rule mandating employers cover contraception in their health care policies, saying it was a matter of government overstepping its role.

"The issue is not contraception," Santorum said. "The issue is government-mandated health insurance. That to me is completely on message The federal government, first off, shouldn't be mandating any kind of health insurance and specifically going after churches, saying they have to do things that are against their principles and faith."

While the Obama administration rule required religious institutions like hospitals and colleges to provide employees health insurance coverage for contraception, the regulation exempted churches. The White House has since announced an accommodation to the rule.

Santorum said the media was too quick to label him a culture warrior, saying he only talked about contraception on the stump in the context of the Obama administration rule.

"Go and come to many of my now thousand town hall meetings," Santorum said. "Let me assure you, I don't think the word 'contraception' has ever come up except in the context of this HHS reg."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    The Armchair Ayatollah and Captain 1%, bickering like school girls. Too good. It's the equivalent of an idealogical pillow fight. Light weight, fluffy ideas swung around by light weight, fluffy people.

    March 19, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. MaryM

    Santorum, you will NEVER be President of America. The Repub candidates are fighting it out in the primaries to see who
    gets the honor of losting to President

    March 19, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. george of the jungle

    no one minds insurance when they are in government im sure rick has really had to use his a lot whit a sick daughter. Like to see how rich he would be without it. Im sure the cost of careing for her is astronomical. But gee he is not like us average folks. If we or our kids are sick I guess we just pray because if the repos have their way a lot of folks won't have coverage. So much for family values. Obama 2012 Aforable health care act. Right on

    March 19, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. sbssue1

    Annie, Please tell us more and where we can find this article you speak of.....Interesting!

    March 19, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. Ken

    While both Santorum and Romney scare the hell out of me, the people that support them scare me even more. If you listen to their message, they only talk about undoing, destroying, tearing down and going "back", never about building and going forward.

    March 19, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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