Rick Santorum to President Obama, ‘We’re Not That Stupid’

Feb 6, 2012 10:42pm

GOLDEN, Colo. — Rick Santorum laid down the gauntlet here, pledging to campaign every day on the controversial regulation by the Department of Health and Human Services requiring Catholic hospitals and universities to provide contraception and the morning after pill if the Obama administration does not change its stance.

He said the administration has been “hostile to people of faith, particularly Christians and specifically Catholics.”

“That’s just a bunch of poppycock,” Santorum said in response to news that the White House said today it is working with religious institutions on the policy. “That’s just ridiculous. You know, Mr. President, we’re not that stupid. The Catholic Church has been arguing and negotiating this for a year and the administration is saying ‘it’s just a misunderstanding.’ It’s just a bunch of bull. They are folks who are trying to use their power to force people to do things that they believe they should do and are right. They don’t care about their religion.

“Guess what? They do provide some protections for some religious groups, just not Catholics,” he said. “I’m not going to stand for it. And I’m going to call them out on it. And they’d better change. And if they don’t, I’m going to make it an issue every day of this campaign.”

Santorum, campaigning in the state ahead of the caucuses Tuesday, aimed to both lower and raise expectations that his campaign — despite losing the four previous contests — can do well here and in the day’s other two contests: Minnesota and Missouri.

“We feel like we’ve made a good effort here in Colorado although brief. Look, it’s not like we’ve been out here for two months campaigning and the same thing in Minnesota. I mean we’ve run abbreviated campaigns in both states, the same thing with Missouri,” Santorum told reporters after an energy conference here.

“We hope to run strongly here,” he said. “Remember, four years ago (Romney) got 61 percent in Colorado. He underperformed and got less votes in Nevada; he underperformed in South Carolina; he’s underperformed in New Hampshire just going down the list and the same thing with Iowa. He’s underperformed for four years and I suspect he will again in these three events tomorrow and hopefully we will be the one to take advantage of it this time.”

Newt Gingrich spoke to reporters while Santorum addressed the energy conference and he predicted the former Pennsylvania senator will have a good day Tuesday, but his campaign also sent out an article that played down the contest in Missouri.

There are no delegates awarded in the state’s primary, instead they will be selected at their caucuses next month. Gingrich is not even on the ballot Tuesday, making it the first head-to-head with Santorum and Romney.

“The bottom line is these do have an impact,” Santorum said. “They show where the voters are in that particular state and … I think it will definitely have an impact on the sense of this race and where this race is going and it will also have an impact, I have no doubt, on the caucuses that are going to be held in Missouri the next month … and I think will be part of the narrative of how this race is changing once again.”

Santorum spent the morning bashing Romney saying his health care plan in Massachusetts should disqualify him from being the party’s nominee, but when asked if he would share a ticket with the former Massachusetts governor if the race were to go in that direction, he first answered, “No,” adding “right now I want to be on a ticket with me” before clarifying.

“I will do whatever I can to make sure Barack Obama is not the next president of the United States and that’s why I’m running for president because I really believe we are in the best position to make sure that,” Santorum said, leaving the door open.

Both Santorum and Gingrich addressed the 2012 Colorado Energy Summit and notably Santorum whacked his opponents just minutes after Gingrich left the state on the issue of man-made global warming.

“I for one never bought the hoax,” Santorum said. “I for one understood just from science, there are 100 factors that influence the climate, to suggest one minor factor of which man’s contribution is a minor factor … is the determining ingredient in the sauce that affects the entire global warming and cooling is just absurd on its face. And yet we have politicians running to the ramparts, unfortunately politicians that happen to be running for the Republican nomination of the president who buy into manmade global and bought into cap and trade. Congressman Gingrich and Gov. Romney both supported the idea of manmade global warming and in fact cap and trade; I never did. And unless the science is such that it is a heck of a lot better than what we see today, I won’t.”

If Santorum is victorious Tuesday he may not rack up too many delegates, but he will get headlines. When asked what wins Tuesday would do for the campaign, Santorum quipped: “We’ll probably have more people on the airplane traveling with us.”

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