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

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(GOLDEN, Colo.) -- Rick Santorum laid down the gauntlet in Colorado Monday, 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 on Monday 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 Colorado ahead of the caucuses Tuesday, aimed to both lower and raise expectations that his campaign -- despite losing the four previous contests -- can do well in the Centennial State 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.

“We hope to run strongly here,” he said.  “Remember, four years ago [Mitt 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.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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