Santorum flips on Dems voting in GOP primaries
February 28th, 2012
04:25 PM ET
2 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. DC Johnny's Mom

    DC Johnny, quit acting like an ldiot. "Liberals" aren't complaining about the open primary. Why would they? It gave them a chance to help pick the Republican candidate.

    February 29, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Thomas

    "Liars for Jesus."

    Rick Santorum is one angry guy.

    February 29, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. Dean

    I'ld almost feel sorry for Mr. Obama's gas-price predicament if it weren't a case of rough justice. The President has deliberately sought to raise the price of energy throughout the economy via his cap-and-trade agenda. He is now getting his wish, albeit a little too overtly for political comfort. Mr. Obama has also spent three years blaming George W. Bush for every economic ill. If Mr. Obama now feels frustrated by economic events beyond his control, perhaps he should call Mr. Bush for consolation.

    February 29, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. PaulC

    There seems to be a lot of things that Santorum doesn't like and makes him ill.
    The sad thing is that there's a large group of voters who agree with him. Doesn't speak well for the future of the country.

    February 29, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. Tex71

    The funniest part was watching Santorum squirm through his transparent attempt to flatter the women in his life, hoping all the American women he has offended will just forget about it! Kind of like the guy who beats his wife, then comes home with flowers the next day. Not going to work. Most American women understand all too well what Santorum would like their lives to be.

    February 29, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. ART

    Santorum wants to keep women dumb barefoot and pregnant.He also wants to be President so the USA will be run like Iran with a religion in charge.

    February 29, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. yogi

    @cynic. Thank you, one more vote for Obama. Intelligence will prevail.

    February 29, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Nick San Diegon

    Hey DC Johnny. with your Liberal this and Liberal that, did it ever occur to you that that not everyone who finds this hypocritical is ....say maybe just a normal individual that sees it for what it is. Hmm

    February 29, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. Joe The Plumber

    The man is Dan Quayle on steriods.

    February 29, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Wipe the smirks off the faces of the bias, war machine funded press. You wonder why the "media" can not tollerate Ron Paul? They all and I mean all, CNN, CBS, MSNBC, ABC, FOX NEWS, have parent companies and links to Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and the Raytheon company. Become a delegate in your precinct. If your a Democrat check into Blue Republicans. This time lets all vote FOR someone. RON PAUL 2012!

    February 29, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. bp pope

    Santorum showed his true self. A desperate Politician that sells out his integrity for a vote. Very disappointing. let's see if Ohio is smart enough to Dump Him....hems not a conservative. he is a lifelong political insider.

    Romney is our man to beat Obama...let's hope Ohio "gets it"

    February 29, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. sacreblue2

    Any port in the storm it seems. Really twisted for this guy to be seeking support from party members he denigrates otherwise. Dan J got it right. That's why PA dumped him.

    February 29, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. JAYNY

    Hmm which candidate has never flip flopped on any issue?

    February 29, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. derpicide

    THese liberal conservatives have agendas that are conserving liberal cap-and-trade type abortions, because OBAMA did the YEAH! SEE?! One nation under ALLAH!. Derp.

    February 29, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Sniffit

    "This is the same ridiculous argument used against Republican governors that accepted stimulus monies after the stimulus was already passed."

    No, it's really not. Those governors not only slammed the Stimulus and then accepted the money, but then tried to take the credit for the help that money provided to their states' citizens. That is the height of hypocrisy. For what you say to accurate, they would have needed to say "ok, well, as long as we're getting it, then we'll take it" AND then give the credit where it was due: Obama and the Dems. They didn't. They used it as an oportunity for photo-ops to promote themselves as though it was all their doing.

    February 29, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. james

    what a moron, democrats shouldn't be allowed to vote in a primary? WTF is the point of an election then or a Democracy for that matter?!? Morons voting a party line instead of issues is why we are in the shape we are, I'll vote for the best candidate.

    February 29, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Jess C

    @Dean: If you knew anything about gas prices you'd understand that the President has no control over them. They are driving by the world market and largely speculators. Blaming Obama is quite therapeutic for you types, but facts are what count. I'm sure you're also bummed that the economy is doing better; goes against the Fox Noise talking points.

    February 29, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Anonymous

    "The President has deliberately sought to raise the price of energy throughout the economy via his cap-and-trade agenda."

    LOL! Did you miss the fact that cap and trade was a GOBP idea?

    February 29, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. yogi

    There are still Ron Paul supportes out there. Do these people really know what this man stands for? If so, that is scary. All of the Republican candidates, past and present, are a shameful bunch. The cream of the GOP crop! Tells you much about the republican electorate.
    Obama 21012

    February 29, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. allenwoll

    It is laughable that a fellow like Santorum could even THINK to make a run at the Presidency.

    It is NOT laughable that there is a significant proportion of the electorate which is so, SO utterly deluded as to actually support him in any way. . THAT is EXTREMELY worrisome for our future as a rational nation - or any nation at all.

    WoW ! ! !

    February 29, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. trvsmart1

    He outright disrespected the President and the office of the President of the United. His language was to say the least shameful. And now he will or has paid the price for such an outburst. Not that he or the rich man would ever be president of the United States. I also like how Mitt keeps saying he ran a state he has experience, well that's getting old and does he not have the common sense his mama give him to know that Obama has run a country for 4 years. Excuse me but running a state cannot realitically compare with having to run a country or NO better yet, Run 50 states. What an idiot Mitt is, is he seriously comparing running Mas to Obama running 50 states, what a moron. Rick and Mitts arrogants is their failure.

    February 29, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. yogi

    @ allenwoll.
    Wow indeed. Sometimes I see people around these candidates looking up in awe at them and I wonder how is it possible that so many people are so clueless?

    February 29, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. JoJo

    I'm an independent. I'll almost certainly vote for Obama in the general election, but I plan to vote in the Republican primary for Ron Paul, who, though extreme on some things, is the closest thing to honesty and sanity among the Republican candidates.

    February 29, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. ATLmatt

    If Santorum wins the nomination, I will throw up.

    February 29, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Marie MD

    LOL. It's not just a bunch of people ricky it's republicans who can't stand you. The republican members of my family, a handful, wouldn't vote for you for anything in the world!
    They don't like your ideas and they think you are showing yourself as the biggest cry baby ever running and that says a lot about your party and those running for the most important job in the US and the world since 2008!!
    LOSER. :)

    February 29, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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