Republican links Mandela apartheid fight to Obamacare

WASHINGTON Fri Dec 6, 2013 2:57pm EST

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, March 15, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, March 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rick Santorum, a former and possibly future Republican presidential candidate, offered a tribute to Nelson Mandela that linked the late South African leader's fight against apartheid to the U.S. battle over Obamacare.

Both struggles - one involving racial segregation and the other expansion of government as seen in President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law - were against "great injustices," Santorum said on Fox News after Mandela's death Thursday night.

"Nelson Mandela stood up against a great injustice and was willing to pay a huge price for that, and that's the reason he is mourned today, because of that struggle that he performed," the former Pennsylvania senator said on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor."

"And I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people's lives, and Obamacare is front and center in that."

Santorum, a champion of the Christian right and family values, presented himself as a conservative alternative to Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries.

He won 11 states in the 2012 primary season but had his share of gaffes, including when he said he did not care about the U.S. unemployment rate in a campaign largely focused on the sputtering economy.

Santorum has not ruled out another presidential run in 2016, and he clearly had elections on his mind Thursday night.

"The center focus of the 2014 election must be Obamacare," he said on Fox, referring to next year's congressional races.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Eric Beech)

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Comments (29)
EoinNow wrote:
Know nothing. The whites were not trying to keep the blacks healthy. The black people in south Africa led by example from the Great Nelson Mandela to be bigger people and work with their former oppressors.

In the states a black person is trying to get you health care and the former powerful people (white people) are complaining instead of even trying to help. Why are you acting this way, you can still be a shining example of human decency if you please examine yourselves. If you are religious and most of you claim to be, then help the poor. Guaranteed, white people still have most the wealth in South Africa and the United States. I don`t think there is much wrong with that but stop complaining.

While you are at it, please stop making Weapons, Uranium nuclear plants(I hear Thorium is better), Spying, Water-boarding, preaching Christian values and then I think we are all good and you can be my number 1 country again. Sorry for sounding like a git but you say you can be the number 1 country in the world. Please try harder.

Dec 06, 2013 3:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Decatur wrote:
Sen. Santorum was shown to be heavily backed by the ‘medical-insurance complex’ when Reuters ran an article on campaign donors back in the presidential primaries, so a grain of salt is in order.

Dec 06, 2013 3:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
So thinking government should control your uterus and vagina isn’t government overreaching? Anyone who believes this hypocrisy seriously needs to stop thinking about the “sides” and the actual arguments being made. It defies the rule of logic whether you agree with Obamacare or not.

Dec 06, 2013 3:44pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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