Santorum: Faith leader asked me, others to consider dropping out
December 21st, 2011
05:23 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum: Faith leader asked me, others to consider dropping out

Fairfield, Iowa (CNN) - Prior to making his endorsement, influential Iowa conservative Bob Vander Plaats approached Rick Santorum and asked him to consider dropping out of the Republican presidential race, the candidate said Wednesday.

CNN first broke the news Tuesday evening that Vander Plaats, the president and CEO of The Family Leader, asked Michele Bachmann to consider dropping her bid or joining forces with another candidate.

On Wednesday, Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, also said he understood Rick Perry and Bachmann were approached by Vander Plaats.

Although The Family Leader did not make an endorsement, Vander Plaats announced his personal support of Santorum Tuesday. His efforts prior to the announcement have been the focus of much attention, including from a questioner at a Santorum town hall in Fairfield, Iowa.

"There are reports that Vander Plaats asked Bachmann to either dramatically change or drop out of the race," the questioner said Wednesday. "If that's true are you willing to disavow those actions by Bob Vander Plaats?"

Santorum did not directly address whether he would disavow anything and instead told the questioner he was the recipient of a call similar to the one Vander Plaats had with Bachmann.

"As a matter of fact, not only Bob Vander Plaats but a lot of people were calling me asking me to do the same thing," Santorum said.

Santorum told CNN after his event that he last spoke to Vander Plaats "over the weekend" and that conversations like the one in question happened for several weeks.

He said Vander Plaats and the other individuals - he would name the others he said were trying to encourage the same thing - were part of a "movement" that in recent weeks began encouraging him, Texas Gov. Perry and Minnesota Rep. Bachmann to "consider getting out of the race and supporting one or the other."

Santorum called those efforts "misguided," but "goodhearted."

"They were trying to make sure we had a strong conservative presence and that someone who wasn't a conservative didn't win the Iowa caucuses," Santorum said. "But I said to them, 'Look, I don't think anybody should get out of the race. I'm not going to get out of the race, I don't think Michelle should get out of the race, I don't think Rick Perry should get out of the race. Let Iowans decide."


Filed under: Bob Vander Plaats • Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Dan

    ...and once more christians who enjoy tax free status try to control the political process. Priceless.

    December 21, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. A Repulbican

    A bunch of yahoos! So unchristian and but so washington poltics. What a so-called family values organization. Please, don't insult the voters!!

    December 21, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. Madtown

    I hope Santorum doesn't heed this advice yet. The race is better with him in it, it's more entertaining with more people to laugh at. We need all these folks to stay in until the convention, maximize the comedy!

    December 21, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. steven harnack

    Well gee Bob, that sounds like a really good idea. Just tell us who to support and we'll give him all of our fans and all of our money. Why, we could just kick ourselves for not thinking of that first!

    December 21, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. roro

    Oh, please, oh, please, Rick, don't quit the race. You either, Michelle. It's so much more entertaining with both of you in it. You're such great examples of the tenets of Christianity.

    December 21, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. PJ

    Now I finally see what's wrong with the Republicans. Santorum just explainrd "income inequality" by using as an example two baseball players – one who earns 30 million a year vs. one who only makes 5 million because he doesn't work as hard. This is just what someone needs to hear after coming home at 5pm after standing on his feet since 7 a.m. at Walmart, earning 7.00 an hour after loosing his job and benefits of 30.00 an hour 2 years ago. Way to go GOP!!!!

    December 21, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. gt

    rick better enjoy the 15 minutes of fame...

    December 21, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    I'm also asking you to consider dropping out, Mr. Frothy. However, I'm not paying a cent.

    December 21, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Daaang Santorum! He didn't even ask you to "join forces" with another candidate. He just wants you OUT of the race PERIOD!
    Dude...

    December 21, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Gee, Ricky... I'd never ask you to drop out. I want the comedy to continue for a while longer.

    December 21, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  11. Sanctimonius

    As a Democrat, I love the right wing evangelicals, because they do such horrible damage to the republicans!

    By the time Iowa has had their way with all the republicans, they've all sold their souls to the devil (oops, I mean the evangelicans), so that by the time they face normal, decent human beings, there's nothing left but taint.

    Keep it Vander Pilates, or whatever your name is!

    Four more years!!!

    December 21, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. Michelle Bachmann

    Good thinking Bob Wonder Pantz! I appreciate you're vote of confidence in my campaign and the legitimacy of my bid for the White House!

    December 21, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. Dixie AZ

    Vander Plaats is a Dutch name. Perhaps this guy is a drop out from The Christian Reform churches in Iowa. But then I think to myself, you can't get further right than the Dutch church. Bob seems to have done it though.

    December 21, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. Yu Jai

    Can you all not see this was a last ditch effort for hard nose bible pounders to try and down Romney? Vander Plaats and other preachers loath the fact that a Mormon is going finish strong if not win in Iowa. NEWSFLASH : people, like him or not Romney is your best bet to beat Obama and our best shot at bringing back the economy. being Mormon is a good thing if anything.

    December 21, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  15. jason

    ya these cooks want perry, santorum and bachmann out cause they know their votes would potentially go to gingrich or rommney and in a sense sabotage ron paul wouldnt work though paul would pick up atleast half of them... the establishment will do anything to stop the revolution

    December 21, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. CronoT

    The GOP doesn't want someone who will just say they're going to run the country into the ground. They want someone who will actually do it! Someone needs to finish the job W. Bush started, after all.

    December 21, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. Thomas

    It was just a suggestion, a good one .

    December 21, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. SPLAT!~

    God tells them to run, VanderPutz tells them to quit, who's running this show?~

    December 21, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. kb

    Vanderplatt has a point. There are too many in the race. They all seem to sound the same but with too many flaws between them. Someone must emerge and rest should follow.

    December 21, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. carlos

    Is Santorum the next puppet of the media? LOL

    Ron Paul all the way

    December 21, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Santorum has lost his little piece of mind. At a rally today he said the growing income differential is good. He said this in a state with 100,000 unemployed and an average salary under $40,000. Now I could begin to understand the logic in that statement if he had made it at $10,000/plate dinner, but he said in front of average people. ???

    December 21, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. willie floyd

    Did he say something about a "spark" in Iowa before or after he was asked to drop out??

    December 21, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. SecedingfromTexas

    Back stabbing at it's finest from the true "faith" and family values leaders. What's that old saying..."You don't need enemies when you have friends................................."

    December 21, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. str8Vision

    Tax free and heavy into political manipulation. The party of choice for organized religion repeatedly lied to justify going to war in Iraq (bearing false witness), causing hundreds of thousands of deaths (thou shall not kill) for the sparkle of oil and corporate profits (thou shall not covet thy neighbors goods). Preaching hate, intolerance, selfishness and ethnic bigotry while hiding the adultery, child molestation and corruption that runs rampant in its leadership circles. One nation under God. I wonder what Jesus would think.........

    December 21, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  25. Pratab

    He and Bachmann probably don't even know what EXIT means above a movie theater door let alone being dumb as rocks in this campaign.

    December 21, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
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