Rick Santorum Tailors His Message Towards Defeating Obama, Slams Administration on Contraception

Feb 10, 2012 4:26am

TULSA, OK–With his recent hat trick under his belt, Rick Santorum has been riding a wave of momentum and is now focused on the big prize, tailoring his remarks to take on President Obama instead of Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich.

Santorum has also been focused on the controversial regulation by the Department of Health and Human Services requiring Catholic hospitals and universities to provide contraception and emergency contraception since it was announced, but Thursday’s message was even more fearful warning the crowd at Oral Roberts University, an evangelical college, they could be next.

“I know it’s the Catholic church, but it’s the Catholic church first, it won’t be the last if they get away with it,” he said, adding the administration is making the church pay for contraception, something they believe to be “a grievous moral wrong.”

With Mitt Romney continuing to hammer his underdog rival as a “champion of earmarks,” Santorum criticized the former Massachusetts governor for “serially tearing down opponents.”

“It’s funny, he’s not talking about his record. Governor Romney’s campaign has been about serially tearing down opponents, without offering any kind of vision for what he wants to do for this country,” Santorum told reporters. “He’s not going out and talking about his record as governor of Massachusetts, in fact, he hides from that record. He only talks about how he’s a businessman. But he was also governor.”

Santorum said it was the former governor of Massachusetts who was the true earmarker, although Santorum also defended the “good earmarks” he supported.

“His record for governor’s not one that he talks about, and there’s a reason for that,” Santorum said after a speech focused on energy policy in Oklahoma City. “For example, look at his requests to Ted Kennedy, to John Kerry and all the Congressional offices. He was very forthright about seeking and supporting earmarks when he was governor of Massachusetts. I’m sure he didn’t have any problem spending his earmarks for programs in Massachusetts, and spending that money as freely as he is.  I know he supported the Big Dig, which is probably the single biggest transportation earmark in the history of the country.”

Besides the Big Dig, the Massachusetts transportation project, he said Romney supported the “biggest earmark in the history of our country, which was the Wall Street bailout earmarked toward the big banks on Wall Street.”

When asked if in this age of the rise of the tea party — a group he is closely courting — if he regretted his decision to back so many earmarks he answered “we all make mistakes,” but instead of backing down he doubled down on supporting what he calls “good earmarks,” including military projects like the V-22 Osprey and a regenerative medicine program at the Pittsburgh tissue institute for those wounded while hurt in the line of duty. He called on Romney to stand up and say those earmarks were unworthy.

“I understand people don’t like earmarks because of the abuse of it, but there are legitimate reasons when the President of the United States isn’t doing the things that are right, then the Congress can have oversight and said you’re wrong. When it was abused, I said, ‘Stop it, and I’m for stopping it,” Santorum said. “This is the gotcha politics of Mitt Romney. It’s not interesting to talk about the issues. He’s not interested in talking about the issues. He’s interested in trying to pander and make political sauce, when there’s real substantive issues about how we’re trying to change this government, and he’s on the wrong side.”

The Romney campaign quickly countered, putting out a release listing the earmarks that are not quite so “good,” including a polar bear exhibit and the Pittsburgh zoo.

Since his victories in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado he’s stepped up his attacks on the president and he continued to unleash against him Thursday, plainly stating that Obama has conceded that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon and he’s “selling the economic security of this country down the river.”

“We’re throwing Israel under the bus because we know we’re going to be dependent upon OPEC,” Santorum said. “We’re going to say, ‘Oh Iran, we don’t want you to get a nuclear weapon wink, wink, nod, nod, go ahead just give us your oil.’ Folks, the President of the United States is selling the economic security of this country down the river right now.”

He addressed a large, boisterous crowd of about 1,000 people in a hotel ballroom who kept interrupting the candidate with cries of “You can do it!” and “Go Rick!”

He said conservatives are not the “anti-science” party and nothing will happen to the environment if regulations on drilling or other energy producing methods like hydro-fracking are lifted.

“Let me tell you what’s going to happen, nothing’s going to happen, except they will use this to raise money for the radical environmental groups so they can go out and continue to try to purvey their reign of environmental terror on the United States of America,” Santorum said. “We will stand up for the truth.”

At the day’s second stop in this state that votes on Super Tuesday, he spoke in front of a massive 4,000 person crowd at Oral Roberts University. Students and members of the community filled half the basketball arena and interrupted him several times with standing ovations.

The event was delayed when a medical emergency was announced and the audience of thousands began to pray for the sick person, although it was not clear what had transpired.

The former Pennsylvania senator focused on foreign policy and when asked by a student to differentiate his from Ron Paul’s, Santorum answered if President Obama is re-elected “his foreign policy would be a Ron Paul foreign policy.”

“The briefest way is I believe in peace through strength, he believes — well maybe I’ll just say he doesn’t,” Santorum said referring to Paul. “People ask me would you vote for Cong. Paul given his national security position the answer is yes, because I believe after this election if Barack Obama is reelected his foreign policy would be a Ron Paul foreign policy. I think he would become much more radical in his cuts to the military … and disengaging from the world and allowing the world to go to sea, and let me assure you, it will go to sea, and the virulence that will be rampant like a bacteria that is growing will end up on our door.”

He touched on the same theme early in his speech, preaching a doomsday message if the president gets re-elected, and as he did earlier in Oklahoma City stressed Israel would be in danger if Obama is re-elected.

“This is how the president acts when he is still up and subject to reelection,” Santorum said. “He still has to take political considerations into consideration. Imagine a President Obama with four years and no one to be accountable to. Imagine what he can do. Imagine what damage and destruction he can do internationally to our friend Israel.”

Santorum will address the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday morning, he will be introduced by Foster Friess, his friend and main donor to his superPAC, the “Red, White, and Blue Fund.”

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