Is Rick Santorum a hypocrite for criticizing the contraception mandate?

Updated
Is Rick Santorum a hypocrite for criticizing the contraception mandate?
Is Rick Santorum a hypocrite for criticizing the contraception mandate?
Sarah Conard / Reuters

Today the Morning Joe panel continued its discussion on the HHS contraception mandate. One stream of the discussion focused on Rick Santorum’s comments on the ruling and if he’s something of a hypocrite when it comes to talk of a government overreach.

Excerpted below is part of the discussion with historian Craig Shirley, Joe Scarborough and “Hardball” host Chris Matthews:

Craig Shirley: Presidents get in trouble when they scare the voters, when they scare the American people, and I think this has the potential to scare the American people…what [President Obama] is doing is he’s telling Catholics: ‘Don’t be Catholics.” And the Catholic Church is not a small institution in this country, it’s a huge institution. And if you’re going after the Catholic Church, what won’t you go after?

Joe Scarborough: This feeds into a narrative, Chris Matthews, where conservatives talk about an overreaching federal government.

Chris Matthews: But who’s Santorum to do that? Remember the [Terri] Schiavo case? He wants to outlaw abortion.

Scarborough: Chris, let me finish my point. The second part of it is this case out in California where you have two federal judges – and I’m not talking about what’s right and what’s wrong, I’m talking how it plays politically. The same week you have Planned Parenthood, the same week you have the HHS decision exploding, you’ve got two federal judges in the ninth circuit telling 14 million people that their votes didn’t matter. It all feeds into a narrative.

Matthews: Sure, I think overreach is a big issue…but the trouble with a guy like Santorum are [his] hands aren’t clean. Here’s a guy who wants to federally, nationally outlaw abortion – the right of a woman to choose an abortion – period. He just wants to take away that decision…Remember the Schiavo case? When he acted as the Senate chaplain. Where three Senators decided they were going to intervene in a family matter down in Florida. Santorum is an overreach guy himself. He’s very close to being a theocrat…”

Scarborough: He’s not a theocrat. Even conservatives like Erick Erickson will call him a big government Republican.

Watch video of the discussion below:

 

Is Rick Santorum a hypocrite for criticizing the contraception mandate?

Updated