May 12th, 2012
08:32 AM ET
3 years ago

Santorum to Romney: 'Step up' and use 'potent weapon' of same sex marriage

Washington (CNN) – Rick Santorum is urging Mitt Romney to "step up" and weaponize the issue of same-sex marriage.

"This is a very potent weapon, if you will, for Governor Romney if he's willing to step up and take advantage of a president who is very much out of touch with the values of America," Santorum said in an eye-opening live interview with Arkansas TV station KARK, a CNN affiliate.

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The former presidential candidate made the remarks before appearing at the Benton County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner in the northwest corner of the state Friday night. Santorum's comments also came the night before Romney's speech before the Christian conservative Liberty University in Virginia on Saturday.

Romney's one time rival noted the recent results of a ballot issue in North Carolina where voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"Hopefully Governor Romney will continue to stand tall for his position on this issue and understand how detrimental it would be for society for it to have this changed," Santorum also told the Arkansas station.

"Governor Romney has to talk about his values," he added. "That's the most important thing."

On Wednesday, President Obama stated his support for same-sex marriage in reversal of his stance on the sensitive issue. Following the president's comments, Romney seemed hesitant to take on what he called a "tender" subject, though he did reiterate his view that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Santorum's remarks also indicate the former Pennsylvania senator is not fully on board Romney's team. After a bitter primary season battle, Santorum endorsed Romney in a lengthy email to his supporters. But Santorum did not actually state his endorsement until the tail end of the message.

When asked whether he would be interested in running as Romney's running mate, Santorum demurred.

"It's one thing you don't campaign for – at least I'm not campaigning for," Santorum said.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (615 Responses)
  1. Blindersoff

    Santorum, the fake Christian, Jesus said, as he stood up, "He without sin throw the first stone" They all turned and slowly walked away, starting with the elders" Jesus then told the woman, to go and sin no more. It is also written in the bible, " before you take the speck from out someones eye, first remove the plank from your eyes" Santorum, look it up and seek deliverance. As a matter of fact, I suggest, we all go back to the bible and pray to God for true understanding of His Word . . . especially the Republicans who seem to be children of the devil while claiming to walk in the light.

    May 12, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  2. Citizen

    SANTORUM!!! There is a reason why you lost. Just STFU.!!!

    May 12, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  3. American

    "Step up" for bigotry & bullying? Romney already refused to take a stand for Grenell against his discriminatory base. Is Mitt following Santorum now?

    May 12, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  4. Dennis Freeman

    Santorum was soundly defeated in his own state running for senator, then the same in the recent primaries. It seems America has said to him he is out of touch with the majority. Good luck getting Romney to "step up."

    May 12, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  5. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    Yes Santorum there is nothing like using bigotry in 2012 to try to win an election. You don't have to like nor even agree with a person's lifestylke but as long as it's not one where someone is being hurt or children are being used or abused the government and YOU included need to butt out.

    May 12, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  6. Joe Sweeney

    Rick, you mean the president is out of touch with 19th century America. Read the news; the majority of Americans support gay marriage.

    May 12, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  7. xeno

    There are very real, important issues going on in the world today, and this is not one of them.

    May 12, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  8. w5cdt

    Me to Santorum: Get over it. This is not America's number one issue.

    May 12, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  9. Independent Voters

    Santorum that why you lost the election because you are out of touch with american values. Romney you can listening to Santorum if you want to thin we will make sure you lose the white house.

    May 12, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  10. JRH

    Go ahead Mitt. Sometimes weapons backfire and kill the shooter instead of the target. Go ahead!

    May 12, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  11. John P. Tarver

    My advice to Romney is to ignore any advice he gets from Santorum. Santorum may be the voice of Catholic morality, but Catholics did not vote for him.

    May 12, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  12. John

    Yes, Mitt! PLEASE take advice from Santorum. He did so well.

    May 12, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  13. Brian

    Right – like our country has nothing else to worry about other than gay marriage. If that's going to be Romney's talking point, this election is going to be a landslide.

    May 12, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  14. MaryM

    According to polls, 52% of registered voters say if the presidential election were held today, they would vote for the president, with 43% saying they would cast a ballot for Romney. Thats right Romney, you listen to santorum, and show Americans just how hateful you two are.

    May 12, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  15. Scot

    The majority of Americans do not give a rip about this issue. But go ahead and take the road of hate Mitt you will have a following that Rick had and that is it ! The minority and we will love you for it because OUR president will be reelected !

    May 12, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Not a big surprise that Santorum has to speak to a crowd in backwoods Arkansas and Romney at Falwell U. to find a crowd that agrees with their point of view. I am a registered Independent who leaned primarily Republican from 1980 through the early 2000s. Now, though, with religion and Stone Age values being the central theme of Republicans, it is impossible for me to cast a vote for the Neanderthals.

    May 12, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  17. Will

    I consider myself a moderate Republican. Santorum is an idiot, we cannot have some whacko worried about gay marriage or abortion. Worry about real issues such as fiscal policy. The "Tea Party" has wrecked the Republican party.

    May 12, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  18. jake

    Ahhh...Taliban 1 talking to Taliban 2. What a horrible America this would be if it were up to these two guys. These guys drive looking at the rear view mirror, always looking back instead of what is ahead. We cannot go back to the 16th century, nor should we think of making the middle class poorer with Romney. Romney, the same guy who wants to deregulate the Banks and Wall Street so that we can see Chase, BOA, CitiBank, Well Fargo, and Goldman Sachs gamble again like drunks at Vegas. Chase Bank blows 2 billion, maybe even 3 billion and it's like business as usual with the guys. Yeah Romney, you don't care because all your money is overseas in secret bank accounts. It will be a disaster if this clown gets elected, be prepared to be poorer while the rich live in even more oppulance and luxury.

    May 12, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  19. Ron

    Oh yeah listen to a guy whose own campaign went spiraling out of control. Listen to a guy who referred to you as an "etch-a-sketch..and by all means listen to the guy who said " Obama would be a better choice than Romney" See what Ricky and people like him don't realize..Americans (the smart ones) are aware of the cheap shots and theatrical bickering taking place during campaigns..see..either he really mean Obama would be better..or he was lying saying anything to win..when the public believes the latter..you are sitting home watching a President being sworn in like the rest of us. Just ask oh John MCcain how did that Palin pals around with terrorist thingy work out.

    May 12, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  20. Debby

    I don't agree with Santorum as values come from the heart not whats traditional.

    May 12, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  21. Randy, San Francisco

    The GOP/Tea Party continues the war on gays by the use of extremist surrogates like Santorum. This allows Romney to flip flop towards the middle by toning down his earlier rhetoric used when courting evangelical conservatives.

    May 12, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  22. Marc

    Lol Santorum is out of touch with the values of the world.

    May 12, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  23. Chuck

    As Dubya would had said, "Bring it on..."

    While we are at it, lets also ban divorce since it contravenes the wedding vows.

    May 12, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  24. Stephen

    Too bad Ricky didn't get the nomination, he would have been so much more fun to watch in debates.

    May 12, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  25. Eric

    Sorry, Rick...but I think *you're* the one out-of-touch...as is the rest of the GOP.

    May 12, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
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