Santorum flips on Dems voting in GOP primaries
February 28th, 2012
04:25 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum flips on Dems voting in GOP primaries

Washington (CNN) - As voters headed to the polls in Michigan on Tuesday, Rick Santorum defended a robo call his campaign used in the state urging Democrats to support its candidate as a vote against Mitt Romney.

But just a few weeks ago on a tele-town hall with Minnesota voters, Santorum decried the mere idea of open elections as polluting the entire primary process.

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"We want the activists of the party, the people who make up the backbone of the Republican Party to have a say in who our nominee is as opposed to a bunch of people who don't even identify themselves as Republicans picking our nominee," Santorum told voters on the call held January 29. "I don't like that. I believe that states should only allow Republicans to vote in Republican primaries."

In stark contrast to his campaign's more recent courtship of Democrats, in January Santorum told Democrats that if they wanted to vote for a Republican, they should switch their party affiliation.

"It's the Republican nomination, not the independent nomination or the Democratic nomination," he said on the call. "If you're a Democrat and you want to be a Democrat, then vote in the Democratic primary, not the Republican. If you want to vote in the Republican Party then become one."

At the time, Santorum's main criticism was of Romney's success in the New Hampshire primary, where 53% of Republican primary participants did not identify themselves as Republicans. In the weeks following Romney's win in the Granite State, Santorum repeatedly cited that statistic in arguing that his rival's supporters was out of step with the mainstream GOP electorate. Now Santorum is hoping non-Republicans will help give him the edge in Romney's home state.

Also see:

Romney's special guest: Kid Rock

Romney hits Santorum robo calls as 'new low' in campaign

Gingrich zeroes in on Santorum in the South

Santorum robo call to Democrats: Send a message to Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Michigan • Rick Santorum
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Jose

    Rick Santorum saying one thing and doing another. Nothing new here.

    February 29, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  2. Norm

    I absolutely love the idea that GOP special interests are sinking tens of millions of dollars into these clowns and they just don't stand a chance against Obama.

    February 29, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  3. Claire

    frothy is his own worst enemy. He has been destroying himself by just opening his mouth. romney hasn't had to do anything to knock down the guy who tells us we should want our children to be stupid, junk food eating, bible thumping laborers.

    February 29, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  4. Evangenital

    crazy religious man

    February 29, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  5. Allahakbar

    You americans are so silly. Why don't you allow us to continue implementing Sharia law in the US. Then you won't have to worry about these pesky elections.

    February 29, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  6. Mimi

    Rick Santorum is a conservative Neanderthal who could not even win the Senate race in his home state of Pennsylvania. I think that most members of the Republican Party have moved beyond worrying about birth control and the likes of the Scopes Trial of the 1920's and would rather focus on the economy, immigration and national defenses. Let' s all get behind the only person who can beat Obama–Mitt Romney.

    February 29, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  7. jeff johnson

    This is the same guy that took advice from glen beck.

    February 29, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  8. Enough is Enough

    Every democrate who voted for Santorum knows that its Obama's greatest wish to run against him. Romney is the only one who can beat Obama. Dragging the party to the right will only make it harder to win in November. For the good of the country you should pull out Rick.

    February 29, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  9. Free Country

    It's a free country and I can vote for whoever I want to vote for. I am an American first with freedom to exercise my right to vote for a Republican, Democrat or Independent candidate.

    February 29, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  10. rika33

    Too late – we know who you are and what your core values are.

    February 29, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  11. Sue

    Hey, Santorum: Remember one thing, as you hypocritically send your children off to college (which, according to you, is for snobs) - Science flies men to the moon. Religion flies men into building. EVOLVE, already.

    February 29, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  12. Tom

    Like Ron Paul has accurately dubbed Rick Santorum; He's a FAKE. A fake conservative who flip flops on many issues as convenience arises. He claims to be a pro-life, but voted to fund Planned Parenthood whose main revenue is from performing infanticide. Then, he parrots Ron Paul's message of liberty which he stole from Ron. ONLY one presidential candidate has been CONSISTENT for 20+ years, and that's Ron Paul, a man of honesty and principle; never sold out like all the other three candidates. RON PAUL 2012

    February 29, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  13. Allahakbar

    Please re-elect President Obama, with the continuation of his policies, it will not be too much longer before america is begging to turn to islam.

    February 29, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  14. RINO Bil

    To get elected as president, Rick Santorum needs votes from moderate Republicans, independents, moderate Democrats etc.

    That's not gonna happen.

    Voting for Santorum in the primary almost guarantees an Obama victory in November.

    February 29, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  15. Lindsey

    What a baldfaced liar this "man of God" is. He has flipped on so many things...now he defends robocalls to Dems whereas a week ago he condemned them? Which is it, Rick? Don't you know GOD HATES LIARS like you?

    Hey Rick...a newsflash for you...if you got any Dems to vote for you in MI last night, it was because they know that if you're the nominee against Obama, he'll have a LANDSLIDE VICTORY in November. NOBODY in their sane and right mind wants your Gawdly plans for this nation to see the light of day. EVER. Buh-bye, now. Go on back to church.

    February 29, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  16. BobK

    Mr. Santorum claims to be conservative, but his votes on spending indicate otherwise. He's a right wing, religious candidate. Period. He's no more fiscally conservative than ANY of the clowns we are already stuck with in Congress, from both parties.

    February 29, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  17. rockysfan

    Whatever it takes to get elected, right? (shaking head)

    February 29, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  18. Susan Prock

    As a poor person on Social Security and a pension I know that Republicans are my enemy! I am a Christian and Jusus is my savior, but I also believe in the seperation of church and state! Obama-2012

    February 29, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. gt

    that was weak.. sorry rick just go away...

    February 29, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. Tim

    oh come on! He wants the Reagan Democrats, not the hardcore Democrat who thinks that a vote for Santorum is a vote for Obama.

    February 29, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  21. snt2

    He's showing that he's SLIME.... I never did like him. I tried to listen to his concession speech but he just kept rambling on about nothing.

    February 29, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  22. clarke

    He is his own worst enemy.

    February 29, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  23. Bryan

    Santorum is a HUGE fan of women – cooking & cleaning and carrying children in their womb. Let's be done with this guy already, huh?

    February 29, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. bullet

    and santorum calls Romney a flip-flopper.

    February 29, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. oman

    The Republican party is broken. Is this the Whig party of the 21st century?

    February 29, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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