Kerry blasts Santorum's opposition to disability treaty
December 5th, 2012
08:35 PM ET
10 years ago

Kerry blasts Santorum's opposition to disability treaty

(CNN) - Sen. John Kerry fired back Wednesday at former Sen. Rick Santorum's strong opposition to a U.N. treaty promoting the rights of the disabled that failed in the Senate this week.

"Rick Santorum was just not factual," Kerry said on CNN's "The Situation Room."

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"Now what he did was he gave some people here an excuse to hide behind ... when they know that there are people who hate the United Nations, who don't want any United Nations treaty, and so they gave them a reason to be able to say, ‘this is why I'm voting against it,’" Kerry said.

Republicans in the Senate blocked ratification on Tuesday of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole appeared on the floor of the Senate in a last-minute effort to draw GOP support.

One of Santorum’s daughters, Bella, was born in 2008 with the rare genetic disorder Trisomy 18. He represented the Keystone State in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007 and sought the Republican presidential nomination this year.

Santorum outlined his opposition to the treaty most recently in an opinion piece published in the Daily Beast on Wednesday. He wrote that the treaty "gives too much power to the U.N., and the unelected, unaccountable committee tasked with overseeing its implementation, while taking power and responsibility away from our elected representatives and, more important, from parents and caregivers of disabled persons."

He wrote further that “our nation has been the worldwide leader when it comes to protecting the disabled. We should be telling the U.N., not the other way around, how to ensure dignity and respect for the disabled."

Kerry was animated in his response, charging Santorum did not know what he was talking about.

"He either simply hasn’t read the treaty or doesn't understand it or he was just not factual in what he said," Kerry said, "because the United Nations has absolutely zero, zero, I mean zero ability to order or to tell or to even - I mean they can suggest - but they have no legal capacity to tell the United States to do anything under this treaty. Nothing.”

Kerry pointed out that the treaty was negotiated under Republican President George Herbert Walker Bush and signed at the United Nations by his son, Republican President George W. Bush.

Supporters of the treaty include key Republicans like Sen. John McCain.

Filed under: John Kerry • Rick Santorum
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. AK_steve

    "Rick Santorum was just not factual." Really? The guy who believes the world is 2000 years old.

    Really though. Is anyone surprised the GOP voted down a law to protect the rights of people with disabilities? And they wonder why people considered republicans heartless and out of touch.

    December 5, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Former Sen. Rick Santorum needs to go away and stay away !

    He makes Catholics look stupid and ignorant .

    December 5, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  3. John

    Republicans were for this treaty before they were against it...

    December 5, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  4. Ed1

    How did you get your third purple heart that's right you put yourself in for it because you commander wouldn't.

    December 5, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  5. Seattle11

    You can not believe anything Rick Santorum says.

    December 5, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It doesn't surprise me that Santorum doesn't understand most things like science. This is something that we already do here in the US.

    December 5, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  7. Mike

    Santorum got it wrong? OMG, that's never happened before.

    December 5, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  8. rs

    Republicans don't need to use facts or be factual. They cling to their delusions, paranoia and conspiracy theories instead. Anyone who voted against this treaty is an ill-informed baboon.

    December 5, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  9. jake

    These rightious bible thumping dictators like santorum make me absolutely sick. Who does this loser think he is? And yes rick, you are a loser. You lost in the primary. You lost your seat, you have no job and you are not electable to be a dog catcher. You are a self serving right wing nut bag who go home and drink bleach. please do u all a favor and have a vasectomy so you don't bring in anymore like you into the world. We don't want you and we don't need you. You are a bottom feeder!!!

    December 5, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  10. John the Historian

    Can't wait for the Santorum/Bachmann ticket in 2016. Watch the Republicans and their coldheartedness go down to defeat for a third time.

    December 5, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  11. Lance D.

    GOP "Sherlock Holmes" gathering all the pieces to the "Bay State Puzzle" -- Obama's "Ann Romney Turkey Chili Lunch" a separate but yet nearly related issue - as CNN Don Lemon said, "Ohhh, if only we were a fly on the wall" (wink)

    December 5, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  12. John

    Rick Santorum is just another phony Christian who does not practice what he preaches. Jesus was on the side of the poor,disabled and forgotten. He certainly is not a follower of Jesus.

    December 5, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  13. volsocal

    So, uh, what exactly does the treaty do, Mr. Kerry?

    December 5, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  14. Ancient Texan

    Not a huge Santorum supporter, but I'm in strong opposition to the UN ...PERIOD. An organization that is anti-American and takes every opportunity to stand in opposition to our Country and lets us foot the bills.

    December 5, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  15. an American mom

    My question is why is this even brought before the UN?? We need to keep America's problems in America not the UN, other countries should have no say what so ever in the US Government and policies.

    December 5, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  16. Not left, not right, just logical

    Santorum is the absolute worst.

    December 5, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  17. chill485

    Santorum and other Republicans of his ilk are a disgrace to this country. They prey on those who are so ignorant as to believe every conspiracy theory that Santorum and other Know Nothings spew. An absolute disgrace.

    December 5, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  18. plain&simple

    Republicans want to be the only ones to tell anyone how to act,behave,think,spend,,love! Unfortunately they believe they have a monopoly on morals and truth and what is right!! They are the crusaders ! Sound crazy or farfetched? You tell me!!! I should not lump them all together, but will someone please not let the squeaking wheels get all the attention....speak up moderates,don't surrender your party.

    December 5, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  19. NameMichele

    The GOP is committing suicide before our eyes.

    December 5, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  20. J.V.Hodgson

    A man re-acting emotionally ( Santorum) due to his own personal circumstances and beliefs. If he were a SCOTUS judge he would have to recuse himself. He chose however to stand up along with others in the Senate of the United States to make a claim about the UN statute that is totally untrue and enabled a perfectly good law to be defeated.
    What he and others who supported him claimed is completely untrue.
    When you can win a debate or rather defeat a bill with an untruth the US system of governance is broken.
    Even on something as apolitical as disability and a basic legislation passed by republicans in the past and this now fails tells a story about how fundamentally a quite small segment of the republican party has completly changed for the worse its face and electability.... they clearly care more about being re-elected than doing the best for the nation as a whole.

    December 5, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  21. salvatore

    Well, you know, at least today's Republicans are making us look back on President Bush more fondly.

    December 6, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  22. AZ Woman

    This has NOTHING to do with us being a "world leader". This has ALL to do with us being a part of the global community saying, "This is how ALL of the World needs to respect our disabled". How anyone could vote against this initiative is JUST PLAIN WRONG!

    This does NOT change anything within the U.S. for our disabled. Can we not endorse what we feel is right for our disabled with the world?

    December 6, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  23. An objective observer

    OMG.... Politicians are dumb. I can't believe they did not pass that treaty.... Wonder how much the Republicans understand what this vote was all about!

    December 6, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  24. Capone

    It still blows my mind that people actually take advice from the Rick Santorums of the world.

    I can't imagine why anyone would just revel in ignorance and stupidity.

    December 6, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  25. Commojoe

    Well, if these two jerks and losers, Kerry and McCain are for it, that's good enough reason to oppose it, plus, we don't need to be giving away authority for ANYTHING to the screwed-up socialist idiots in the UN. They need to get that cesspool OUT of the US!

    December 6, 2012 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
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