Santorum dings Romney while defending contraception stance
March 19th, 2012
08:57 AM ET
2 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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"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. LovesIrony

    If you don't like government control over health insurance. Get OFF it!

    March 19, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    The Santorum campaign is now stealing one-liners from the Obama campaign. I recall David Axelrod saying Willard has "NO CORE." Now you've got Santorum saying the exact same thing. It's pretty obvious Willard goes whichever way the wind blows.

    March 19, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. Jean Sartre - Milwaukee, WI

    Personally, I would rather see a person with "no core" running around attempting to scam his way into the presidency, than a person with a core of "solid hate" attempting to do the very same.

    In the final analysis, neither of these totally worthless people are going to win anything except perpetual shame...

    March 19, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. Tyler Durden

    Fascist Theocrat.
    I am very frightened that he has been able to get this close to the Presidency.

    March 19, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  5. NRC

    Exactly, as a Senator he gets free Gov't health care for life. I guess he is fine with that. Personally I wouldn't mind it if everyone had the same insurance as the Senator representing their state. But I believe it is a horrible idea to do it at the federal level. Each State should pay for itself, I don't want to pay for California.

    March 19, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Wraith

    What planet does this imbecile come from? Aren't there more pressing issues at hand than contraception and porn? For Christ's sake, this guy is out of touch.

    March 19, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. True Core Conservatice

    THAT'S TRUE! THIS GUY USE THIS OBAMACARE, a government insurance when HE WAS A SENATOR. HE WAS ON THE GOVERNMENT INSURANCE which is an insurance coverage that has nothing likes it....TALKING ABOUT USING RELIGION FOR HIS OWN GAIN IS VERY VERY EVIL TO ME!!!

    March 19, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. HenryB

    And these are the people, all four of them, who want to lead our country. Yikes.

    March 19, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. Jeetu

    I have a question for Mr. Santorum. Why should I pay for the ill-health of a person who deos not have a healthcare insurance? Under the system whih President Obama has attempted to replace, those who do not have healthcare insurance are paid by those who have health insurance and the federal and state government. This effectively increases my cost of healthcare by increasing my insuranc premiums and out of pocket costs on one hand and the federal and state government expenses on the other.

    The fact is the requiring everyone to have healthcare insurance is not the same thing as my chosing to be single or married. In the case fo healthcare insurance, one person's not buying healthcare insurance affects others pocket and hence is not covered by the fundamental rights for lack of insurance infringes on my rights to pay less for insurance and taxes.

    The arguments above also apply to contraception issue. Just because the insurance coverage should be provided does not mean that the individual freedom is being taken away. On the contrary, it enahnces the chances of free will because I would be able to afford a contraception use if I so decide and cannot afford it.

    Thus, Mr. Santorum and my republican friends, I want you think hard on these issues before you atempt to impose your ill-baked ideas, or what you call as core values, on all of us.

    March 19, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. sbssue1

    Time for Santorum to bale and stand behind Romney. The GOP race is nothing but crazy now. We're tired of listening.

    March 19, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. steven harnack

    The "contrast between President Obama" and any of the GOP candidates is clear enough for most Republicans. It's just as easy as black and white.

    March 19, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. GI Joe.

    I don't want to see fake contrast.

    I want the TRUTH.

    March 19, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Women voters should beware of Santorum's attitude toward's women's rights and health care. He would take the country back into the Dark Middle Ages when women were treated merely as property without rights.

    March 19, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Thomas

    Yes on Viagra , No on Contraceptives !

    Fascist Theocrat.

    March 19, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. scef

    So that means that I don't have to ensure my car or home? These insurances are mandated, what is the diffence. Oh I get it the first 2 protect the insurance industry while healthcare doesn't.

    March 19, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. geg

    whats next virginity testing before marriage

    March 19, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. Russ

    Rick says, "I have a core. I'm someone who has really strong convictions about the limited role of government...except when it comes to telling women what they can and can't do with their reproductive system, or what part religion should play in your life. That part of big government is ok, or that as a Senator he had Government funded health care and it's ok for him but not for us. What a freakin' hypocrite.

    March 19, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. Al-NY,NY

    yadda yadda yadda. The circular firing squad continues at it.......good

    March 19, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. Mike in Texas

    Romney's campaign song should be Billy Joel's "I Go To Extremes" He seems to take both sides of each position on so many issues that it isn't worth reporting on anymore.

    March 19, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  20. Mike in Texas

    Mitt Romney should win 100% of the vote in the General Election. He has taken opposite views on so many issues he favor's everyone's position.

    March 19, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  21. Annie, Atlanta

    Santorum is potentially one of the most dangerous politicians to come around in my lifetime, and Eisenhower was President when I was born. If he wants a country run as a theocracy, with his religious and frankly anti-women views, I would suggest he consider moving to Iran. Good grief, what is happening to the Republican party?

    I read an article the other day that when he first met his wife, who had been living with an abortion doctor 40 years older than her, that she was glad he was pro-choice. What happened to him to do such a 360 on his views? Is it political expedience, or did he suffer a trauma?

    March 19, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. ThinkAgain

    The Obama administration is NOT "specifically going after churches" – which is why they can opt out of providing contraceptive coverage.

    BTW, Ricky, Georgetown University – a CATHOLIC university – provides contraceptive coverage as part of their health insurance coverage for their employees. Sandra Fluke's complaint was that while Georgetown requires its students to have health insurance, the plan it offers does not include contraceptive coverage.

    Now I know all this is too much for your little pea brain to handle (especially the part about a woman capable of thinking and wanting to make her own decisions about her own body), but the rest of us can understand the issue.

    And we ALL understand you are a theocrat hellbent on imposing your religious beliefs on our country – IN DIRECT VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    March 19, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. Jess C

    Yes, and we have "Father" Santorum trying to take over what happens to a women's body. Not only that, he has the nerve to scream for "smaller" gov.t. like the rest of the GOP, yet finds it ok to impose his narrow views on contraception and who should and shouldn't have access? Hypocrite much? Keep religion out of politics!

    March 19, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. hate and lies from the right

    All the gop frontrunners are bombarding americans with lies and more lies saying anything to get elected.what a farce

    March 19, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Santorum said. "I have a core. I'm someone who has really strong convictions about the limited role of government. ...."
    -------
    Limited role of government? Things that make you say, "Hmm."

    Why is it that conservatives always seem to be trying to enact legislation the regulates or limits our freedoms? Why is it that liberals always seem to be trying to enact legislation that does just the exact opposite?

    March 19, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
1 2