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. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    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
    ============================================================================================
    So when the Democrats were blaming George Bush and Dick Cheney for similar run ups in price, the Democrats were lying and misleading the American people, right?

    February 29, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Marshall

    It is unfathomable that anyone, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, would consider voting for Santorum who is a Torquemada in waiting, a religious zealot who would attempt to impose his religious theocracy on America, who is anti science (we are supposed to be living in the Age of Enlightenment), and who dismisses environmental concerns. I do not exaggerate, it is not hyperbole, to say that I consider him to be the most dangerous candidate for president in my 82 years.

    February 29, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. indyreader

    Funny things happenin'. We're fortunate – extremely fortunate – that Santorum is honest at least about some of his personal social crusades, because at least that way, many people who didn't know much about him before have gotten a clear idea of how much he wants a theocracy. Now that Rick's downward-spiral may have begun, he'll honestly and rightly end up on the scrap-heap of fizzled Republican flavors-of-the-day, where he belongs. Amen and hallelujah.

    February 29, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. dave

    So much PAC money being wasted in this primary when none of the fools have a chance to win. When you think about how much more PAC money will go to Republican Congressional races, and then hedged bets on money to Obama and Democrat Congressional races, it will require a HUGE amount of taxpayer subsidies to the 1% to make sure they get a return on their investment. Every time you hear about $$ in the campaigns you have to remember those donors big donors will get taxpayer $$ for their returns. I hope we can afford it!

    February 29, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Pips

    Welcome to America, Rick. We can vote for who ever we want.

    February 29, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Stacey

    Wow. And you fools are voting for him.
    Ron Paul 2012 or kiss our nation goodbye. And that's the TRUTH.
    Smarts don't it
    ANYTHING but obama though. He's a total LOSER in the General Election it's LOCKED IN BABY!
    -------------------------–

    How delusional! Nobody wants Ron Paul but the stoners and people who hate our government. Ron Paul is the LOSER because he won't win the GOP nomination; he'd be lucky to even win one primary!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    February 29, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Expecting Democrats to NOT mess around in an open primary for political reasons is like expecting a new born to not soil his diapers. Neither can help themselves, but in the case of the Democrats, it would require honor and integrity. Two traits Democrats have never been accused of having an excess of.

    February 29, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. yogi

    @ indyreader. Amen!

    February 29, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Claudia, Phoenix, AZ

    Santorum is no different in this campaign than Palin was in 2008, a lot of talk about nothing. Santorum like Palin represents the "dumbing down" of the Republican party.

    February 29, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. D

    It's hilarious that the open primary in MI came back to bite Mittens in the rear after his people fought so hard to keep it open! Hoist with his own petard much?

    February 29, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. indyreader

    "Truth and Nothing But the Truth" – 'cos of course no Republican/conservative would EVER advocate messing around with the other party's primaries *coffcoff*RushLimbaugh*coffcoff*

    February 29, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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