Rep. Bass: Mandela's Fight Against Apartheid Similar to 'Struggle for Health Care'

By Melanie Arter | December 10, 2013 | 12:52 PM EST

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) (AP Photo)

( - Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), in an appearance on MSNBC's "PoliticsNation" on Friday, condemned former Sen. Rick Santorum's comments comparing Nelson Mandela's fight against apartheid to the fight against Obamacare as "shameful."

"And actually if I was going to make a comparison, I would make the opposite comparison, because I think the struggle for justice, which Nelson Mandela led for so many years is similar as the struggle for the health care as a right for people in the richest country in the world, and so the idea that they would make that comparison in the opposite way is just tragic," Bass said.

"Nelson Mandela stood up against a great injustice and was willing to pay a huge price for that, and that's the reason he's mourned today, because of that struggle that he performed, but you're right," Santorum said on Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor."

"I mean what he was advocating for was not necessarily the right answer, but he was fighting against some great injustice, and I would make the argument that you know we have a great injustice going on 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 said.

Bass said in the future, Republicans will look back on this time in history and be "embarrassed."

"And I really think when the history books are written in this time period,  I think Republicans of the future are going to be quite embarrassed and shamed by the way the anti-health care campaign is shaping up," Bass said.