Tony Perkins: Social conservatives' emphasis now on taking Senate, not helping Romney
April 10th, 2012
05:12 PM ET
6 years ago

Tony Perkins: Social conservatives' emphasis now on taking Senate, not helping Romney

Washington (CNN) – The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, a leading social conservative, tells CNN that conservative activists are so unenthusiastic about Mitt Romney, many are likely to turn their grass roots efforts away from the presidential race and towards Congress – specifically, putting the Senate in Republican hands.

"It's difficult for us to back a candidate our constituents don't believe in and aren't excited about," Perkins said in a telephone interview, speaking about Romney.

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In January, leading conservative activists met in Texas and decided to rally around Rick Santorum as their GOP candidate for president.

Perkins said in recent weeks, as it has become clear Santorum had an uphill fight, he has talked to several social conservatives about "what people would do if it came down to having an option who doesn't excite us," meaning Romney.

Perkins said the consensus was to turn their "emphasis" to campaigns for Congress rather than campaigning for Romney.

As for Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul each saying they now intend to be the conservative alternative to Romney, Perkins said he believes both will pick up some Santorum supporters, but he also underscored that Santorum had a different kind of appeal to social conservatives than anyone else in the race.

Also see:

Poll: Nearly three-quarters of Republicans see Romney as nominee

Romney: I speak with Gingrich more than Santorum

Romney campaign pulls negative ad while Santorum halts campaigning

Filed under: 2012 • Family Research Council • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum • Senate • Tony Perkins
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The Kochs and Rove have all the money they need to run a half billion dollars in negative ads. By comparison, Family Research Council is small potatoes.

    April 10, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. rosaadriana

    Ha ha ha Good luck with that Tony. Can't even keep you peeps together for the presidential nominating process what makes you think you are going to do anything about the senate?

    April 10, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. Sniffit


    haha...oh serpent, swallow thy tail...

    April 10, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Go back to somila where you might have a chance if getting the presidentcy, not in USA.

    April 10, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. MaryM

    Not gonna happen TP, or Tony Perkins. What ever happened to Separation of Church and State, you wanna play YOU ARE GONNA PAY.

    April 10, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. cali girl

    HA HA HA HAHHHHHAAAAA. They can't back a candidate they don't believe in.
    Not my words.

    April 10, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Niko_in_Richmond

    Yes, just what we need, a presidential nominee who cannot even seem to garner the pseudo-enthusiasm of his own party's base. It's looking like Romney may end up fairing worse than McCain did....

    April 10, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Dave

    yo, Bishop Romney aint got a snowball chance in hell to win!!! Yea I said it, The same exact chance of a blackman getin appointed all up in that quarom of 12. Mr Personality is a Marvelous Bigot & so is his cult!

    April 10, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. Dave

    Yo, Can a Bishop get 12 Elevators for his 12 homes for his 12 cars? Out of touch, Bishop Romney, NOOOOO!!!!!!

    April 10, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. Dave

    Bishop Romey Does that sound like Seperation of Church & State????? Majic underwear for every American!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 10, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. HenryB

    Well, Perkins' endorsement of Romney just about sounds like the others he has received from the "mainstream" Republicans.

    April 10, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. Debbie

    Tony Perkins and Dobson modern day Judas Iscariots using Christ as a political tool. Social conservatives an interesting term. It used to be personally conservative in dress, culture, thought. Today it is religious zealots on a crusade to turn the USA into a political theocracy.

    April 10, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. Dave

    Just the 2 words of Bishop Romney bring up the grey area of hurting the Seperation of Church & State!

    April 10, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. emt2er

    The only part of government more unpopular in this country than the President is Congress where the tea baggers are already in charge of obstructing everything. There gonna loose a few seats......

    April 10, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  15. Gurgyl

    Mitt is all mith. Flip flppper no good.

    April 10, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Slap, down goes Mittens!

    April 10, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  17. FL

    Have wondered where FRC voters would go if the GOP decided to nominate someone who does not believe in the Holy Trinity or Christian creeds.

    Personally, Romney's religion has little to do with why he does not earn my vote. That has more to do with Romney's constant lies & flip flopping away from principles, as well as Mitt's embracing of neocon policies that caused so many problems for our country.

    April 10, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. once upon a horse

    what happens if Obama not only wins but the Tea Party Republicans get tossed out on their ears from the House? Tony Perkins will indeed be PSYCHO then.

    April 10, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. Stephen in VA

    This would be funny if it weren't so sad. The GOP is dead-set on a campaign to embarrass itself mightily.

    April 10, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. Penobscot

    It's ONLY because evangelicals see through the glass darkly. Romney will beat Obama either way.

    April 10, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. scott

    Smart move, even if Obama manages a miracle and wins, he will be powerless if the Republicans control the house and Senate, Checkmate. Obama plans will go no where, we will shut him down for 4 more years.

    April 10, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. Sam

    The US needs more of these radical Tea-publicans like it needs another Bush-Cheney to run us into the ditch again.

    April 10, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. Wake up people

    They want the House and the Senate and by the time they get finished the country will be in ruins and President Obama impeached. Get all of these obstructionist nut jobs out of office in November. But isn't it funny Mittens is not even good enough for his own party, even after spending millions on negative ads?

    OBAMA 2012!

    April 10, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  24. Andrew

    A control republican congress! Just call them "Scott Walker". Just say goodbye to everything as you know it. If you vote republican in November, blame no one but yourself when things go south. Romney is just like Walker, he will tell you anything you want to here, until he get elected.

    April 10, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  25. dagoberto

    Everybody for Ron Paul

    April 10, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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