March 15th, 2013
01:49 PM ET
2 years ago

In tearful remarks, Santorum speaks of pain

(CNN) – Former Sen. Rick Santorum delivered a solemn but forceful rallying cry when speaking about the death of a close family member Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

With tears in his eyes, the former presidential candidate talked emotionally about his nephew who passed away Thursday in Pittsburgh from what Santorum described as "a horribly painful disease that almost overnight began ravaging his body."

"Medicines were effectively blocking all of his physical pain. We were the ones in pain," he said.

"I couldn't help but have my experience yesterday impact my message here to you today. I thought of Buddha's first noble truth – to live is to suffer," the devout Catholic added.

As the silent crowd listened, Santorum spoke with conviction from his speech, which he hand-wrote an hour beforehand, an adviser told CNN. While society has made immense progress in stopping physical pain, he said, Democrats have gone too far in trying to use government programs to address almost every other pain.

"The left can always promise more stuff and make it sound like they care more, because they make it easier for Americans by providing the stuff for them through government programs paid for by somebody else's money," he said.

Santorum, who battled eventual 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney deep into the primary season and who is considered a potential 2016 candidate, squarely placed blame on President Barack Obama for trying to "transform" the country and reorder its priorities.

"Obama has offered a new deal. He and his friends will reduce the pain and the suffering," Santorum said, adding that all Americans have to do is abandon their principles. "He wants to exchange the why of the American Revolution for the why of the French Revolution."

The former two-term senator urged the audience to not look to lawmakers to solve their problems. Rather, it was up to private individuals to take care of each other.

"We have to rededicate ourselves in our churches, in our families in our communities, in our local school boards," he said. "We have to fight for those who are suffering and being left behind. They don't want government money, they want your money. They want what comes and they need what comes with it: your caring, your mentorship, your love–all things government cannot give."

Following his address, Santorum was scheduled to attend a number of events at CPAC, including two meetings with members of Patriot Voices, the political action committee that the former senator from Pennsylvania chairs.

– CNN's Mark Preston and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: CPAC • Rick Santorum
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. callmecrazy

    How can someone claim to love your country but hate your government?

    March 15, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. Mark in Seattle

    Santorum. Worst of the worst.

    March 15, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. Tam

    Did his friend have all his health care covered?

    March 15, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Yanni

    I thought for a moment Santorum accept the miracle of science and the goodness of scientific research then I was wrong. He links his family sickness and death with Obama and the Democratic Party. The guy is good using people tragedy and his religion as a spring board to attack his opponents.

    March 15, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Just Saying

    This guy needs a pulpit, not a job as any type of representative in the government.

    March 15, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. nothing new here

    Let us pray – that this guy does not start another presidential campaign.
    Terrible speech.

    March 15, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. Hypocrisy On Parade

    "Sanctimonious" is in training for the Olympic "Hypocrisy Medley Relay" event in 2016. He's a poster child for everything wrong with the republican party.

    March 15, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. PaulCat

    I see his pain didn't last very long.

    I gave him an "A" for effort.

    What's next?

    March 15, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Obama has offered a new deal. He and his friends will reduce the pain and the suffering," Santorum said, adding that all Americans have to do is abandon their principles. "He wants to exchange the why of the American Revolution for the why of the French Revolution."

    I think I missed the big picture with this speech. Sounded like a whole lot of rambling.

    March 15, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. ncmyk

    please note that the more that he talked about his catholic faith during the campaign, the less of the republican catholic vote he got.

    his version of the faith is much different than most u.s. catholics live their faith.

    March 15, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. Historian

    I suppose Mr. Santorum has forgotten that the promise of the French Revolution was birthed by our own, and that as countries and brothers we have helped each other for more than 200 years. Lafayette would shed a tear and Lady Liberty herself would droop if she could but hear.

    March 15, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. Paul

    Question:
    Did he have heath care?

    March 15, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Dan

    Why do people listen to anything this moron says? I find it hard to believe that Rick allowed the doctors to stop his cousins pain with medication, after all some left leaning chemist probably developed it with money from a federal research grant. Should it be right that they use tax payer funded research to relieve an individuals pain? Rick stay in D.C. we do not want you back in PA, we have enough crazy in the state with the currant crop of GOP nut jobs.

    March 15, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  14. freya

    At least his nephew's parent can afford to buy pain medication to ease his nephews discomfort. But how about the poor and the elderly who are dying and in dire pain. He's willing to defund them of medical help to ease their pain in their last stage of life? Gosh Is this is what they were being taught by their preachers or priest then?

    March 15, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Durundal

    Did this disgusting worm of a man just try to use the death of a family member for petty political points? How can this man call himself a christian?

    March 15, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. JustAO

    What other people's money is he talking about? Taxpayer money? If he thinks we should have a government or use taxpayer money, then maybe he would like us to be like Pakistan or Afganistan. Maybe he should give up his salary since his GOVERNMENT JOB is being paid by TAXPAYER MONEY.

    "We have to fight for those who are suffering and being left behind. They don't want government money, they want your money..." Is he talking about the poor and vulnerable? They don't want money from government? What is this guy even talking about anymore? There's no coherent sense in any of their arguments and they wonder why the voters have ROUTINELY voted against their platform or policies.

    March 15, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. stars

    Dude put the crack pipe down. Save what little brains you have left if any I"m praying for sir.

    March 15, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. Larry L

    Santorum opposed stem cell research that could cure many "painful diseases". He opposes environmental regulations that could prevent an extensive list of cancers, respiratory illnesses, and other chronic (and painful) diseases. He wants to block abortion and contraception – practices which could prevent or terminate in the early stages a pregnancy certain to produce a child suffering from completely debilitating (and painful) congenital defects. He opposed the preventive measures of Obamacare – things known to identify disease while treatment is effective. His presentation was prattle – nothing but the ramblings of a fool.

    March 15, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    "The left can always promise more stuff and make it sound like they care more, because they make it easier for Americans by providing the stuff for them through government programs paid for by somebody else's money," he said.
    ----------------
    I see the Republicans are still living in the past, thinking that their same old misleading message will work for them. I guess they haven't noticed that they've lost the popular vote in 5 out of the last 6 general elections. I guess they have yet to realize that after Bush-43 and the The Great Sucker Punch they pulled on voters after the 2010 elections, people have gotten wise to their word games.

    People have seen the numbers. Democrats are not the big spenders in DC. It's the Republicans. The numbers do not lie. Just look at year to year growth of the annual budget for the last 30-40 years. Democrats grow annual spending the least.

    Democrats have borrowed the least. The right wing likes to blame Pres. Obama for all of the borrowing and deficit spending, but most all of the spending had been legislated long before he took office. Pres. Obama's annual spending growth is only 1.4%, when adjusted for inflation. Pres. Bush averaged growth rates of 8-9% per year, each and every year. Both Bushes had large numbers, just as did Ronald Reagan.

    March 15, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Alan

    Santorum defines what is WRONG with the Republicans. They can't believe Regan is no longer alive. That the 'trickle down' let private industry take care of everything that lead the country into the GREAT RECESSION still would work if this country is dumb enough to let it. All the Republicans feel they need to say is 'we believe in America and Freedom and then the 350 million americans will follow them like minion.What the Republicans, especially McConnell who has less than 2 yrs left in office (thank god), Boehner, Ryan, Cohen et all will not accept are the success's of the Clinton era being duplicated in the Obama era..heh, take that Republican's..keep on running off at the mouth about how bad we have it, wave the flag, and the next time you see the White House, maybe the end of this century!

    March 15, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Wake up People!

    This man is the lowest of the low. First he uses his sick daughter to drop out of the campaign last year after Willard decimated him. Funny, I haven't heard one word about the baby since. Now his nephew, who I'm sure had top of the line healthcare passes away, and he uses his death to attack President Obama once again.

    I really wanted to feel sorry for this idiot but that's impossible, but I do find solace in the fact that this self righteous, hypocritical loser will NEVER inhabit the White House.

    Speak all you want Santorum, and when you're finished go get a real job and stop leaching off the government.

    March 15, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. PaulC

    The French went to war to rid themselves from the abuses of the aristocracy (the 2%) who took everything and reduced the citizenry to poverty and misery.

    March 15, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. Pete

    Santorum talking about the death of someone but of his own useless political party...And watching something die how you suffer in republicans as posters here watching their party go down in flames because of their reckless agendas coming back to politically haunt them..Santorum sorry about your relative but most posters here are worried about their futures and how the likes of Cantor,Boehner and Ryan against Pres.Obama helps our economy which at this point doesn't..So if you want flowers sent don't do it till midterms and get the addresses from McConnell,Boehner and company,they're the ones who will in morning for their loses not us!!

    March 15, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Thomas

    I feel empathy for his children , all 8 of them.

    This guy is a power bag of nut juice .

    March 15, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. Jeff O'Dette

    Where do people like him come from? This person is a complete total MORON!!!!!!

    March 15, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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