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. Sarina

    I don't get Rick Santorum. Didn't he criticize muslim countries for persecuting gays and lesbians? So why is he slamming for doing this? Trying to protect gays and lesbians from being executed or sentenced for life is promoting a "gay agenda"? I don't get this. Once again, the GOP proves they're behind the times.

    December 6, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Monbois

    These two bigots are the ones who are out of step with America's current value system. Their own value system belongs to the 1950s, which still belonged to the Middle Ages for the most part!

    December 6, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Dixie AZ

    Both should close the shop and get out of the race. Mr Sanitarium is ignorant and Perry is just plain dumb.

    December 6, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  4. lgny

    There's a key missing piece in this story. The African nation of Nigeria just passed legislation that imprisons for long terms any gay individual AND any person who aids or support a gay person. All of the "developed" nations have denounced this law. Obama is joining ranks with these leaders.

    Perry and Santorum are ignoring international news.

    December 6, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Steve, New York City

    What does Santorum (or Bachmann, for that matter) know about faith? They are typical conservatives – they seem to despise ANYONE that is not exactly like themselves.

    As far as Perry goes, I thought he was more of a Bush 43 (not evil, just plain stupid) . . until I learned of the racist sign on his hunting grounds.

    December 6, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. Keith in Austin

    So why doesn't support Gay marriage here in his own Country? This veil order to support gay rights overseas stinks of political expediency to appeal to gay and Lesbian voting block only! For Barry, is all about getting re-elected in EVERYTHING he does each day! What a miserable excuse for what a real Leader of THe People should be!

    December 6, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    WOW - As Christians like to say "God doesn't make mistakes" - people are human, no matter what their sexual preference.

    And Obama is not offering money to countries that treat them as equals, he's cutting off what we have given for decades if they DON'T treat them as equals. Bush Paid. Reagan Paid. Now they will still get the republican money, but with the string attached that they treat humans as humans.

    December 6, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. SPLAT!~

    Rick and Dick.
    Take your pick!~

    December 6, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. rem43fl

    We have gone way overboard in making allowances for "gay rights", etc. It has gotten to the point that the main theme here is to redirect the society that made these United States worth living in. We give more rights and more privledges to minorities than to the people who recognized them in the first place. As a nation we are overcompensating for the few, and have ignored the many. We have leaders in place today who cannot make up their minds about simple and necessary things, cannot balance a "checkbook", and cannot agree on the basics needed to run this country properly. We are becomming the laughingstock of the world... AND WE DESERVE IT. Get your stuff together America, before it is too late!

    December 6, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  10. Dave

    Does anyone really care what these two knuckle-dragging idiots think

    December 6, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  11. Lionel

    These two jerks are out-of-step with the century. And last time I checked, LGBT are tax payers as well.

    December 6, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  12. ED FL

    These 2 BOZO'S were the pattern for the term and Movie called DUMB AND DUMBER. who in their right mind would take the advice of this twosome.

    December 6, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. Ken

    To heck with Perry, Santorum, and their "special rights" arguments... they constantly argue for special rights for straight people, then claim that it's somehow a "special right" if other people want equal protection under the law. The reality is that in many countries gay people can be summarily executed... then these dolts claim to be part of a "culture of life" while still demanding that we not even notice what these countries do. You want to claim that life is sacred, Perry and Santorum? How about you actually pay some attention to the plight of people who have already been born.

    December 6, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. Noodle Nose Johnson

    I thank God that neither Rick Perry nor Rick Santorum have any chance of being elected President.

    December 6, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. Mark

    I just don't understand why Rick Perry doesnt discuss other issues or is there is something he and santorim are hiding in their past closets.

    December 6, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
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