Candidates quick to pan Obama foreign aid decision
December 6th, 2011
04:18 PM ET
11 years ago

Candidates quick to pan Obama foreign aid decision

(CNN) - Two of the most socially conservative Republican presidential hopefuls were quick to pound Pres. Barack Obama Tuesday for a new administration directive promoting gay rights abroad through the use of American foreign aid dollars.

Obama's order, issued in a memorandum Tuesday, instructs "all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons."

The memo directs agencies that disperse foreign aid to enhance programs that "build respect" for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The memo also asks American agencies to assist LGBT refugees seeking asylum and organize with gay rights organizations.

Reacting to Obama's memo, Republican presidential hopefuls Rick Perry and Rick Santorum both said they strongly disagreed with the president's instructions, saying he was promoting values that were out of step with the American people.

"This administration's war on traditional American values must stop," Perry said in a statement.
He continued: "Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America's interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers' money."

Perry said the president's move was "the most recent example of an administration at war with people of faith in this country."

Perry has long touted his faith to voters, including a recent television advertisement proclaiming he "wasn't ashamed to talk about my faith."

Santorum echoed Perry's comments Tuesday in Iowa, telling reporters that humanitarian aid should be reserved for countries with pressing needs.

"I would suggest that we give out humanitarian aid based on humanitarian need, not based on whether people are promoting their particular agenda," Santorum said. "Obviously the administration is promoting their particular agenda in this country, and now they feel its their obligation to promote those values not just in the military, not just in our society, but now around the world with taxpayer dollars."

Santorum, who has long been an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, said Obama needed to clarify his stance on marriage rights. Obama has said he is "evolving" on the issue, but does not currently support the rights of gays to marry.

"He said he's for traditional marriage, and now he's promoting gay lifestyles and gay rights, and he's fighting against traditional marriage within the courts, and I think he needs to be honest," Santorum said.

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Rick Perry • Rick Santorum
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Goptfascists Nationalists Party - radical "regressive" bigoted intolerant fanaticism screwing the USA

    "This GOP's war on traditional American values must stop" – the GOP is a nasty little cluster of selfish and sacred weanines who don't deserve any respect or attention! They do nothing but whine and complain while spreading rumors and lies about other Americans – they ALL need to be voted out of office!
    The GOP and their followers are a disgrace to America!

    December 6, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If we are talking to these other countries, why not include this? We want everyone treated equally and fairly, don't we?

    December 6, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. jerry

    what about the billions going to shore up european banks...from the obama administration...asif we had the money in the first place.

    December 6, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Figures these two would jump on this issue. Apparently they are unaware that LGBT folks often face prison and even death sentences for trying to be true to themselves. I keep forgetting that these "Christian" candidates do not follow Jesus' commandment to "Love one another, even as I have loved you," especially as it refers to people different from themselves. The other thing I wonder about is the people who are the most strident LGBT bashers are those who often have not come out of the closet. Does that mean that the Ricks could possibly be Gay?

    December 6, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    And these two curretly speak for how much of the GOP?

    December 6, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think right wingnuts are listening to the drivel on foreign media, (Fox) and are putting too much stock into the unAmerican rants of Hanoi Hannity, Bagdad Bill O'Reilly and Kim Jon Limbaugh.

    December 6, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It does make one wonder what these single issue Ricks are hiding.

    December 6, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Mark McCampbell

    GOP=HATE. why in the world doesn't America understand that? Hate blacks, hate Gays, hate Muslims....need I say more?

    December 6, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Remember that $5.5 trillion of our debt came from "W" and the republicans, and $4.8 trillion of our debt came from Reagan and Bush 1 and the republicans. We could be in pretty good fiscal shape is not for the republicans.

    December 6, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Kay

    Polygamy and LGBT are relationship lifestyles. Some foreign countries accept polygamy and not LGBT while we accept LGBT and not polygamy. If LGBT have rights to be respected so is polygamists.

    December 6, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Wes B.

    First of all, Obama instructed our agencies to respect the human rights of all. So the GOP is against giving LGBT basic human rights? WOW!!

    Second, the GOP is claiming LGBT getting "special rights." Ummmm...I don't think there's a single LGBT that wants special rights. They just want the same ones that everyone else gets. I don't see how that's controversial?

    December 6, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. Jeff in Virginia

    Why is Rick Santorum so obsessed with what a very small minority of the population does in their bedrooms?

    These idiots are all for "big government" as long as it's doing their bidding. Shame.

    December 6, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. Ben in Oil City PA.

    "Reacting to Obama's memo, Republican presidential hopefuls Rick Perry and Rick Santorum both said they strongly disagreed with the president's instructions, saying he was promoting values that were out of step with the American people."

    I think you two are out of step with the American people!!

    December 6, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Sniffit about kicking the wasps' nest (pun intended). Look at them freak out!!! I'm going to get some popcorn...let me know if I miss anything funny.

    December 6, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. aaron, i can't stand boehner

    obama's job is to protect ALL American citizens. GLBT are U.S. citizens. I really wish some people would just die and leave all the fun loving people behind. come on Christ, come back to us and rid the world of these people with no love in their souls. man wants to marry man cause man loves man. what's wrong with love?

    Speaking of which, when was the last time you heard one of our politicians use the word "love" or "peace"?

    December 6, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Self-righteous bigots...

    December 6, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Duke One

    I totally agree with both Ricks ! It's bad enough that we are an immoral nation and now we are trying to spread our immorality to other nations. Besides, we are BROKE and should not be sending any one any money. How about helping those in our own country first.. Now there's a novel idea. Obama is just pandering to the left wing of his party. Pathetic.

    December 6, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. MTATL67

    Perry, Santorum, Bachmann remind me of the intolerance in 1930’s Germany that lead to the birth of the Nazi party.

    December 6, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. Patriot Awesome

    Wow! They must be seriously in the closet to hate gays so much.

    December 6, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    These candidates like to bite on anything, don't they.

    December 6, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. Tekk

    Look I am all for Gay rights, they are people, not the devil like some of these people think. But to use humanatarian aid to push their agenda is wrong. We need to help people in the US get back to work.

    Obama should be ashamed of himself. Both Ricks should be ashamed as well. They are all worthless leaders.

    December 6, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. steven harnack

    Sounds to me like they are admitting that gays don't get treated fairly but that treating them fairly amounts to "special rights" you know, like the special rights that we gave women when we allowed them to vote and the special rights that we gave blacks to marry whomever they wished to and to attend the same schools as white kids. But they do have the founding fathers to fall back on when they wrote that all men were created equal except the ones that aren't like us.

    December 6, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. The Greedy Old PIgs have declared class war on US!

    Hey Perry, they're called "human rights" not "special rights". Of course, you and your vile GOBP ne(cro)con deathcult know little about human rights and respect them even less.

    December 6, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    First and foremost, any devout Christian should not be a politician. First and foremost, our Constitution strongly suggests that there should be a separation of church and state. Taken together, that means that Christians should not running for elected office, and elected officecials should not favor Christian values.

    Furthermore, the US government was created by the people, for the people. Arguments based upon Christian values really have no place in our politics.

    December 6, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Monbois

    Why would anyone speak out against a call for stopping violence against anyone else? These yahoos don't seem to mind it if someone is murdered just for being gay, but most COMPASSIONATE HUMAN BEINGS, which these CREEPS ARE NOT, do mind it.

    December 6, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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