March 28th, 2012
01:21 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum's Supreme Court rallying cry

Sparta, Wisconsin (CNN) - Rick Santorum used the legal fight before the Supreme Court on the national health care law to explain how Mitt Romney is "uniquely disqualified" to be the GOP nominee.

Santorum, who believes the health care mandate strips Americans of their rights and freedoms, on Wednesday, described Romney as the "godfather of Obamacare" for implementing the health care law in Massachusetts when he served as governor.

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"The solicitor general of the country in oral argument yesterday referred to 'Romneycare' as the basis for 'Obamacare,'" to argue the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care law, Santorum said while campaigning in Wisconsin.

"We can't rely upon one swing vote in the Supreme Court to decide what the future of our country should be," he said in reference Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Santorum also laid out his solutions for health care to employees at the MacDonald and Owen and Lumber Company in Sparta. His proposals include allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines through pre-tax dollars and strengthening patient-driven coverage options like Health Savings Accounts.

On the stump, he once again explained why he is better suited to face the president in the general election.

"This race, if it's between Rick Santorum and Barack Obama will be about freedom, will be about what kind of America you want to live in," Santorum said. "If it's a race between Obama and Romney, it will not be, it cannot be because neither of them supported freedom on the most fundamental issue of the day, your health, your life."

Team Romney responded to Santorum's comments saying he's becoming "more and more desperate as everyone else realizes he has no path to winning the nomination."

"It's important that all Republicans keep their focus on President Obama because if we want to repeal Obamacare we need to defeat him first," Romney campaign spokesperson Amanda Henneberg said in a statement. "Obamacare is bad policy and bad law and when Mitt Romney is president he will get rid of it."

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Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum • Supreme Court
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Janpi

    Really it's about "freedom"? I scoff at that notion. This is not about government health care taking over. It's about who's paying for cleaning my teeth. It's about leveling the costs for EVERYONE. Ugh this is not that difficult.

    March 28, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. coy4one

    What hypocrites these Republicans are! When the healthcare law was passed in Mass., the GOP praised Romney and the Mass GOP for its achievements. Now that it was endorsed and expanded upon by the majority of Congress (regardless of whom controlled Congress at the time), it is labeled the evil plan! Just goes to show that the GOP, and especially the current Republican candidates, will say anything to get ahead. Now even Romney distances himself by saying Obama put things into the plan that were not in the Mass plan. Hypocrites! All of them!

    March 28, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I have had the supreme court's interpretation of freedom. They chose "W" instead of letting a count go on in FL, they gave us the biggest attack on our constitution with the citizens united crap. As a Lutheran, I do not want Rick's catholic values running our country.

    March 28, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. Sal

    There is definitely something wrong with this guys head.........

    March 28, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Sal

    I was referring to Santorum by the way..........

    March 28, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    ""We can't rely upon one swing vote in the Supreme Court to decide what the future of our country should be," he said in reference Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy."

    Funny, but last I looked, both Kennedy AND Roberts were sending up smoke signals that they could both end up supporting the "mandate," i.e., the choice to either buy insurance or pay a small penalty, as a valid exercise of Congress' power to levy taxes. That could be very amusing, in fact: 4 Justices write a majority opinion supporting it under the Commerce Clause with 2 concurring opinions supporting it as valid under the power to tax? Haha. 6-3 and Roberts saves his legacy from politicization by looking like a statesman instead of overturning over half a century of Commerce Clause precedent and jurisprudence in the name of handing Obama a defeat.

    March 28, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Valentina

    Mr. Santorum – you are pushing this argument to your own detriment. Your argument will become moot once individual mandate in Obamacare will be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Romney will be victorious.

    March 28, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Wire- as a Catholic, I don't want RICH'S ideas of catholic values running our country... He's pretty embarrassing to most of us...

    March 28, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge. Look at what Boehner and Cantor did to the House of Representatives and what Roberts has done to the Supreme Court. If we could put a republican in charge of Iran or the Taliban, they would have them financially broke in no time.

    March 28, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    I keep hearing these Republicans like Santorum wanting to repeal the healthcare act, but I have YET to hear one say what they would replace it with. So we should go back to allowing insurance compaines to boot you off if you have very bad health condition or not allow you to have any if you have a pre-condition? We should reopen the doughnut hole that seniors are now enjoying that has been closed? And as far as the mandate the far right has always complained about giveaways to help the low income but have NO problem paying for someone that doesn't have insurance, especially those who could afford to but choose not to? It will not be free and guess who pays for it. If they can answer these questions to my satisfaction perhaps I can see their argument better for a total repeal. Santorum will NOT have a problem getting HC no matter what is decided by the SCOTUS.

    March 28, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Ann

    it's the economy stupid. Wake up Rick! people need jobs, need financial security, don't come with the 'freedom' slogan which means nothing when you are unemployed. Health care with or without mandate is a detail. Focus on the real problems.

    March 28, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Rick from Florida.

    In my high school goverment class! I taught that our goverment was founded on a checks and balance system. As far back as the Civil War, where the unfair commerce of states was in balanced because of slave labor the federal goverment intervined an fought against it. In its wake freedom from slavery was in its wake. When women decided that there needed to be a check on there right to vote the goverment intervined and balanced it with there right to vote. When people of color were denied there equal rights under the law the goverment was ask to check and a balance of the civil rights act was passed in its wake a host of rights were restored to all americans. Lets not forget after the first crash a similar check had to go to our financal system and in its wake a more balanced approach was afford by the US goverment. The lasteset is an on going argument that our national health care system is with out dout one of the last for profit healthcare systems in the world! It was check an found to be unbalanced. A host of Presidents Senators and Congressman have fought with failure to balance it. Until this administration not one thing had been done to balance the system and still keep it for profit. A small price to pay for the right to unrestricted healthcare

    March 28, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. anagram_kid

    So President Obama brought about legislation that will lower the cost of health care (17% of our GDP, I believe) and he is called a socialist. These same folks are blaming him for the price of gasoline. I wonder if he took steps to regulate that if the same label would apply.

    March 28, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "I keep hearing these Republicans like Santorum wanting to repeal the healthcare act, but I have YET to hear one say what they would replace it with."

    I think they've been pretty clear actually. They'd replace it with NOTHING. Zero. Zilch. Nada. They disingenuously claim that if we do NOTHING, regulate NOTHING, structure NOTHING, control NOTHING provide rules for NOTHING, etc., then flying unicorns farting rainbows that rain economic pixie dust will cause the "free market" to magically result in everyone "who deserves" health care coverage and medical treatment to receive coverage and medical treatment and have access to care and for costs to magically decrease. OF course, this entirely ignores 70+ years of historical record and facts about our economy and the health care and insurance industries, but, well, that's what you do when reality tells your ideology to go screw itself.

    March 28, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. anagram_kid

    Why is this so hard to understand? In order for this nation to be prosperous we need healthy, educated, employable people. Affordable health care helps make this possible.

    March 28, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    I thought the "broccoli market argument' was easily debunked. No one is making anyone buy a specific product. The ACA does not specifty that you must buy this product.

    The argument compared the health care market to a vegetable market and being required to buy broccoli. Wrong. The ACA says that if go to the market, you have to pay for what you take. You cannot simply walk in like a freeloader, take what you want, and leave without paying for it.

    People who claim they don't use the health care system are mistaken. They have already used it, and everyone will use it at some future data. They were born in a maternity ward of a hospital. They had shots and exams as a child, many shots that are mandated by law.

    March 28, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Terry

    I've got a proposal. We can repeal the Health Care Act, remove all harmful and onerous regulations from the health insurance industry and let the free market take it where it will. In return, we simply remove all age and income qualifications from Medicare/Medicaid. If the free market is better and the insurance companies can indeed sell a product that can be competetively superior to the government's plan, nothing should change. In fact, if it is so much superior, this would decrease the government programs, since the insurance industry would pull people from the government-sponsored plans. Somehow, though, I doubt that would be the outcome. So do the GOP and the industry, which is why this plan would never fly....

    March 28, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. Heywood J.

    The government has a long history of forcing its citizens to get various types of insurance; why is this an issue now? I have to get auto insurance, or I can't drive my car. I have to get mortgage insurance, or I don't get a mortgage. I have to pay into unemployment insurance. So....if the Supes decide the individual mandte is unconstitutional, can I stop paying all these insurance companies????

    March 28, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. anagram_kid

    once upon a horse

    “I keep hearing these Republicans like Santorum wanting to repeal the healthcare act, but I have YET to hear one say what they would replace it with.”

    Good point! IMHO, since the seeds of this emanated from a conservative think tank, I think they would ‘replace’ it with the same set of legislation and just rebrand it as Jesusurance, Regancare or maybe Freedom Health Enablement Plan.

    March 28, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Terry wrote:

    I've got a proposal. We can repeal the Health Care Act, remove all harmful and onerous regulations from the health insurance industry and let the free market take it where it will. In return, we simply remove all age and income qualifications from Medicare/Medicaid. If the free market is better and the insurance companies can indeed sell a product that can be competetively superior to the government's plan, nothing should change. In fact, if it is so much superior, this would decrease the government programs, since the insurance industry would pull people from the government-sponsored plans.
    ----------------–
    Do you call being exempt from anti-trust laws harmful and onerous regulations? The reason so many people are in the govermment programs is because the industry drops seniors, automatically, as high risk. That's what created Medicare in the first place. Removing all regulations would kill the industry because they are too greedy. Medicare and Medicaid are superior to private industry, which is why you have so many people enrolled in them. The industry doesn't want to care for a young, crippeled person in a nursing home, so Medicaid picks it up. Your idea is based upon a false set of assumptions that does not take the downside/reality into account.

    March 28, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. anagram_kid

    Sniffit,
    You are on fire today as usual. keep up the good work!

    Obama 2012 (Obama = Adult)

    March 28, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. Rosslaw

    So St. Rick's solution does nothing for those who can't afford healthcare and therefore should, by right-wing principles, die. Those right to life types seem to believe that the sanctity of life ends at birth.

    March 28, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    once upon a horse wrote:

    “I keep hearing these Republicans like Santorum wanting to repeal the healthcare act, but I have YET to hear one say what they would replace it with.”
    -------------–
    Their idea is to 'cross state lines' which is just as ridiculous as the broccoli argument. They want people to think that buying insurance is like going to the store and buying milk, or broccoli. If it is cheaper over there, then go there to buy it. Wrong. Insurance is priced based upon the individual's circumstances, not the price to bring the product to market. They are comparing apples to oranges.

    March 28, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Mike, Albany

    The party that wants to mandate trans-vaginal probes, restrict access to abortion and contraception, de-fund planned parenthood, and introduce a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is worried about what the health care law will do to our freedoms?

    March 28, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Romney is not My Hero

    @ anagram_kid "In order for this nation to be prosperous we need healthy, educated, employable people."

    The GOPers don't want this to happen. They are with the same mindset that this "Great" country was founded upon: Kidnap people from their own country, drag them to a new land, steal that land from the 'natives', make them work to build a new nation while you take all the credit, and say it's God's will. - Keeping people stupid and poor is the ONLY thing on their agenda.

    God Bless America!

    March 28, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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