Santorum Brushes Off Money Concerns, Blasts Obama on Religious Freedom

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  • Santorum
    (Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Rick Santorum (R-PA) is flanked by his family as he speaks at the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, February 10, 2012.
By Stephanie Samuel, Christian Post Reporter
February 10, 2012|4:48 pm

WASHINGTON – Rick Santorum disregarded Mitt Romney's money-flush campaign in his CPAC 2012 address saying that the presidential race is not about who has the most cash, but about stopping Barack Obama and his growing grip on American freedoms.

Santorum told the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) audience on Friday that he is not concerned about how his campaign's finances measure up to Romney's.

"We're not going to win with money," he said. "We're going to win with contracts, we're going to win with ideas, we're going to win by making Barack Obama and his failed policies the issue in this race."

Santorum, once near the bottom of polls, was propelled into the limelight after several endorsements from evangelical leaders and a three-primary win Tuesday.

The wins pose a serious challenge to Romney's previous front-runner status. The Romney campaign responded, saying that it plans to win in the long-run because it has more money that Santorum's campaign.

Romney has raised a total of $56,465,509 while Santorum raised $2,178,703, according to OpenSecrets.org.

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Santorum said at CPAC that the race is not about who has the money because Barack Obama is going to have more money than the eventual GOP nominee.

The president has raised $125,225,410 as of Dec. 31.

"This election is about very, very big things," Santorum emphasized. Big things like Individual freedoms.

Santorum told the audience that the Obama administration's health care plan mandating that religious institutions such as colleges, hospitals and private grade schools provide contraception coverage in insurance plans for employees is not just a Catholic issue, but a freedoms issue. The Obama administration's health care reform is dictating to U.S. citizens what rights they are allowed to exercise, said Santorum.

The Obama administration is using the "right" to health care to coerce the religious groups to violate their consciences and force Americans to purchase a product that they may not want.

"When government gives you rights, government can take away those rights. When government gives you rights, government can coerce you into doing things in exercising the rights that they gave you," he explained.

Santorum, a Catholic, declared, "Our rights don't come from the government; they come from a much higher authority."

Amid uproar over the mandate, Obama announced a compromise on Friday, saying insurance companies, and not employers that have a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, will be required to cover such services.

Grace Marie Turner, president of the Galen institute, responded to the new proposal, saying, "This compromise is no compromise," noting that religious institutions will still have no say about the contraception coverage in their benefits packages.

Santorum said the Obama administration has also tried to limit American freedoms with environmental regulations and rejected energy initiatives such as the Keystone pipeline because of man-made climate change.

Evidence commonly cited to support the threat of man-made climate change has been politicized, the former Pennsylvania senator noted.

By contrast, Santorum said he wants to protect American freedoms, develop a diverse energy plan that embraces the Keystone pipeline and natural gas drilling called hydrofracking, and put Americans back to work.

 

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