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. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Jobs and the economy are the important things. Let's stick to that.

    May 12, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Jude Ryan

    Please step up, Mitt! Nothing would make me happier than to see the gay bashing bully from the private charm school step up and publicly bash gays some more for trying to be part of American society. After all, Mitt was a pretty good gay basher in prep school, so he should be pretty good now; he certainly has not displayed talent in any other areas thus far, so step up, Mitt. I dare you.

    May 12, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. POD

    Wag More......Bark Less

    May 12, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. John B.

    Great job Santorum. Tell the "Gov" that the POTUS is out of touch ...even though the majority clearly are for (or could care less) about gay marriage. Maybe you should stop thinking from your 17th century beliefs and move into the present.

    May 12, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. pantycrickett

    Santorum, YOU LOST. GO HOME. Now it will be your fault when we elect the first president to declare he is going to hell and is proud of that fact. God help us all.

    May 12, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. Jess C

    No, Santorum, "values" are not the issue at stake with our country, the economy is, Did you forget that in you quest to make us a theocracy? Your personal values have nothing at all to do with mine or this country's, so keep them out of the battle. Typical GOP, nothing to offer on the economy that's any different than the same old failed policies, so they have to for "values" and try to cater to their base. It's jobs we want; voting for Obama.

    May 12, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. pat

    Hogwash! If Santorum actually knew the values held by the American people, he would be the nominee of his party. Instead, he's trying to drive from the back seat-–the same seat that drove him out of the race in the first place.

    May 12, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. Rick Ryan

    A great idea! make bigotry your platform

    May 12, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. landon

    Not good.

    May 12, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  10. t3chsupport

    Yes, use that as a weapon.
    So the other camp can use Romney's assault of someone he thought he was gay as fair ammo.

    May 12, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. I Like to tiE My doG To the rooF Of tHE famILY Car for FUN

    Go Ahead Mitt step it up BaWahahaha ...Hey Sandy-tory....Who's America are you talking about?

    May 12, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. j.torrey1@hotmail.com

    It seems that the GOP does want to make this country a religious Theocracy. If we keep voting for Government laws and amendments thatenforce religious biases, then we are foprcing the government of this country and its states to intervein in church issues. That is one of the reasons that the founders of this country called for the sepporatiopn between church and state. Now we have "Christian Concervitives" doing their damnest to force their veiws on all citizens of this country. Sounds just like what happened in Afganistan with the Taliban, Iran with Hylatola Kumani and other countries in the Middle East that we now consider our enimies. Do wes a nation really want to become like those suppresive countries with our own religious extremists running them. If you want to know what it could be like just look at what is happening in Seria.

    May 12, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. Chuck

    Both of these clowns are out of touch with Americans. Like 99% of the GOP... Greed Over People

    May 12, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. newtonfig

    santorum proves he was a lowly demagogue pushing his "Christian" agenda on the rest of us. no interest in the economy, health care, mortgages or the wars – the important stuff. santorum confirms all he was was a trojan horse being rolled toward washington ready to unleash so called "Christians" on our government to save us from progress.

    The man has one noble trait – dropping out of the race so he could tend to his sick 4 year old. maybe there is hope for him

    May 12, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. tom

    Oh shut up and go away you narrow minded bigot and hate mongor. This is the 21st century...not the 18th.

    May 12, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. Whynot11

    You know what, even though I could not disagree more with Mr. Santorum, I have to give it to him for not changing his position for pandering purposes and sticking to what he thinks will benefit America the most.

    There is not a doubt in my mind: he believes and preaches everything he says, regardless of how asinine it actually is.

    So, Mr. Santorum, I still think you are a dumb-dumb... but thanks for being honest about it.

    May 12, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. Kris

    Wrong again, Mr. Santorum. The tide of history is with the President on this one, and it is going to happen. I can just see you, 40-50 years ago, saying President Johnson was 'out of touch with American values' for supporting the Civil Rights Act. Soooooo glad you left the race.

    May 12, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. Rosa, b'ham al

    Yes Romney please do. Let everyone know what an intolerant SOG you really are.
    Obama 2012!

    May 12, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. texas1980

    Really. Romney's values are what's most important to me? Assuming that he had values to call his own (depending on the audience to which he is currently pandering to) it is certainly not what's most important to the majority of America. Let's have a contest between Santorum and Romney to see who can be more out of touch with reality once the election is over.

    May 12, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  20. DaninNH

    Follow Santorum on this social issue??? The guy is an extremist and rode a short wave of looney-ism till the real majority stepped up. He, Bachman, Gingrich, none of them will ever win the republican presidential nomination.

    May 12, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. CB

    Wow. I shouldn't be surprised by this, but I am. Rick Santorum has shed any pretense of being a human being. He is essentially telling Romney to turn the majority against a protected minority group in order to get elected. Paging George Wallace? Hopefully history repeats itself in that respect as well (not the shooting; the election loss).

    May 12, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. Russ

    He can't do it after the news just came out that he was the ring leader at his richy rich prep school where he cut the hair of a gay kid.

    Mitt the Demon Barber of Cranbrook School for Boys!!

    May 12, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. Buffer

    Who's out of touch with America? The Republican's need to stop being initimated by the religious right when they are out of touch with the majority of American's. The social agenda to control the lives and decisions of others drives away the independent voter.

    May 12, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. jonlline

    Being from PA, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Santorum is a fool. He was out of touch with PA, hence why he was tossed by the largest margin ever of a sitting Senator, and he is out of touch with the changing social norms of the US.

    May 12, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. Mile hi dem

    Everyone knows that most conservative men are closeted gays. The more conservative, the more they crave boys. ronald Reagan was not always in the closet, sometimes he stepped out.

    May 12, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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