May 12th, 2012
08:32 AM ET
2 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. Hillary

    How stupid can Santorum be? Bully Willard knows he's smart not to touch that one. How well did trying to mock the slow jam sensation work for Romney? How well did trying to de-value the Bin Laden take-down work for the GOP? How well is the first political negative Mother's Day add working for Ann Romney? Alexithemic Mitt and the entire GOP--just on the wrong side of history on everything.

    May 12, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. @RainCityLady

    Sure, Rick. That strategy worked so well for YOU, didn't it? Show me a straight man who is obsessed with attacking gay rights and I'll show you a man who is in the closet and in denial. If Romney chooses, the Rickster as a running mate to appease the Tea Party and so called fundamentalist "Christians," he's a bigger fool than I already thought. Keep it up, Rick. You're the best campaigner Obama ever had.

    May 12, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. CJE

    What a low life this guy is...

    May 12, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. Gev Sweeney

    Sounds like this election is turning into the American version of Roundheads vs. Cavaliers. Guess the GOP never learned about the Restoration.

    May 12, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. GB

    There's good reason Santorum is a "former" presidential candidate if his approach is to use discrimination, bigotry and outright hate toward any of our own citizens as a "potent weapon". People are born the way they are, they don't get to choose if they are black or white, male or female, straight or gay – I am tired of these privileged WHITE STRAIGHT MEN who are clueless about real people, trying to dictate, from their out of touch place, their naive beliefs about Americans. None of us have as much hate in our hearts as these politicians who refuse to embrace ALL AMERICANS NO MATTER HOW THEY ARE BORN. It must be so easy to be a STRAIGHT WHITE MALE – they don't have a clue about the daily ups and downs of everyday Americans. They are the LEAST QUALIFIED TO SPEAK ABOUT ANY minority group and then to go so far as to say the minority group should be attacked as a potent weapon???? God put special privilege into some of the wrong hands – it is actually the devil that created such people, God is far too kind, loving, fair and embracing of all of us.

    May 12, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. JerPell

    FLIP FLOP...FLIP FLOP...FLIP FLOP...FLIP FLOP...FLIP FLOP...FLIP FLOP.......
    The sound of Obama hard at work!

    May 12, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  7. MSH

    Bring on the armageddon! That's one of so many reasons why we kicked him to the curb in PA.

    May 12, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. LouAZ

    Ridiculous Rick is still hoping for a United States Theocracy. Ain't gonna' happen. Hallejulia !

    May 12, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. maggotfist

    Santorum has some personal issues methinks

    May 12, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. d

    Rick Santorum, accusing others of being out of touch with American values.......wellllllllll, now I've heard everything.

    May 12, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. Bob

    Being 'out of touch' with American values is a good thing when said values are more appropriate for 1312 than 2012.

    May 12, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. larry

    Santorum 's got it right, Romney should go with this right to the end, stick in obama's face wherever till the election, most Americans believe marrage is between man and woman

    May 12, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  13. Luscious

    Good job Santorum! And he's right.....Romney has the opportunity of a life time here and I hope he takes full advantage of it. God created us to physically interact in a certain way..........and he backed it up with His Word in the Bible. We all have a responsibility to do what is right, to support what is right, and to avoid what is wrong. Furthermore, we have an obligation to stand up for what is right, even if that may mean persecution from the opposition. Congrats Santorum for being a true leader!

    May 12, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  14. itylhive

    Santorum, you lost. Clearly your values were out of touch with Republican party, let alone America whole. No one cares what you think anymore.

    May 12, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  15. dabble

    Ol' frothy talking about someone else being out of touch with the populous. ROFLMAO

    May 12, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  16. LogiK

    Out of touch? The majority of us don't base our decisions based on the manufactured words of a magic bearded man in the sky....You sir are Obsolete.

    May 12, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  17. bigtbone

    The values of america are greed, bullying, selfishness, lying and persecution? Because that's what santee n romney stand for.

    No thanks. Ill stick with the values of education, determination, capabilty, tolerance, respect and equality.

    The biggest problem I see is a failing of message unification by the dems. They've been given ample ammunition to frame this election for what it is: more of the same crap that's failed us for 30 years or moving forward.

    May 12, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  18. Thatguy371

    Santorum is about as out of touch as any prez candidate in modern history, so yeah keep giving Romney advice. We need 4 more years of Obama so he can fix the pile of mistakes Dubya made anyway. Bring it on.

    May 12, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. Travis

    Romney needs to be careful how he 'weaponizes' this issue about marriage being one man and one woman, especially since his great grandparents practiced polygamy and one of his ancestors had 12 wives! Just sayin....

    May 12, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  20. spellwizard

    Santorum really wants Romney to get his butt kicked in November, doesn't he. If Mitt goes that route, he will probably lose almost all of the votes except the white males in the South.

    May 12, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  21. chaing

    It's time for robme to step up to the plate and start talking specifics about what he intends to do on the issues not use "weapons" against the President. President Obama is clearly talking specifics and that's what I like to hear. Try THAT for a strategy!

    May 12, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  22. glorydays

    Ah....some Christians are so nice.....

    May 12, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  23. Anonymous

    This coming election will divide the country more then it is right now. Now we are a country that is basically split 50-50% on almost all topics....that should tell us something....that we (American) are not openminded, are not tolerate....and are basically selfish,,,until and when this ends we will remain a country divided.

    May 12, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  24. NukeTim

    Yup, do that.

    May 12, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  25. I'M JUST SAYING TOO....

    Sarah Palin, now Bristol Palin (seriously?), Rick Santorum, why is it that LOSERS opinions even see the light of day? America has spoken and we have decided that we don't want to hear what they have to say! Usually after you lose the race YOU GET SOMEWHERE AND SIT DOWN! Bristol Palin never even ran for anything but how to capitalize on your mothers "un-vetted" tea party popularity. Santorum should not have even been on the campaign circuit with his anti-progress message and family problems at home. At some point we all have to get our PRIORITYS in order!!!!

    May 12, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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