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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Follow Jim Acosta on Twitter: @jimacostacnn

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. prediction

    I belief the candidates have an agreement to leave family and faith debate to fools. Attempting to bring about consensus on family and faith only results in a loss in rights. These are individual decisions, not something to be negotiated in some kind of agreement of consensus.

    May 12, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. Steve

    Isn't this thinking the reason santorum is spending this election at home?

    May 12, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. Keith

    For everyone that loves liberty let us hope Romney follows Santorum's advice. I don't like Romney but I don't think he is that stupid.

    May 12, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. Mark Beesley

    Right, Romney should take advice from a losing candidate. Really? Even if a most Americans support or oppose SSM, a greater majority do not see it as a benchmark issue in national politics. It's the economy stupid.

    May 12, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Common sense grandma

    I'm not sure denying rights to others is a "value" as much as it is oppression. I suspect legalizing interracial marriage would have lost in a popular election back in the sixties. Also am not sure that taking advice from the loser is a great idea. I want a president, not a boss-in-chief or a priest-in-chief.

    May 12, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. Rick1948

    Nice try guys, but polls show that the President"s position on gay marriage is very much in touch with Americans.

    May 12, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. JEET

    Its sad that election will be fought on this issue I guess America has no important priorities other than marriage and similar issues

    May 12, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. Keith

    Romney is not smart but he couldn't be so ignorant to follow Santorum's advice.

    May 12, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. JuanVonDinklus

    Yet, Santorum doesn't want anyone to talk bad about his religion because that is a war on religion – he has no problem with having a war on people his disagrees with though. I'm sure Jesus promoted having a war and using weapons against those that weren't like him. The only thing is, I can't find a verse in the bible to back up Santorum's "weapon" stance.

    May 12, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. k.m.makonnen

    Dont even think...half of the us poplationt are gays..they put obama back to w h with u or without you...take my word.

    May 12, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. DanW

    Why is this guy so obsessed with other people's business?

    May 12, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. GEdwards

    Perhaps there's a reason he's not the presumptive GOP nominee. Stupid advice.

    May 12, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  13. Wally

    Please Mittens, do what santorum says, he is such a political bimbo....

    May 12, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  14. Brian

    Like, for serious – does Santorum live in the same America that I do? He might think that Obama is out of touch with "American values" but I'm about 100% sure that Santorum and Romney are out of touch with Americans.

    May 12, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. Steve in Stuart

    HEY SANTORUM! It's the economy...stupid! This extreme theocrat needs to quietly go away, before he single handedly blows it for the GOP.

    May 12, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. Sandy Feet

    Sick Rantorum may have well just stayed in the race. Now he's telling Mittens how to run his campaign!

    May 12, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  17. Donettes

    It seems to me that Santorum is out of touch with America. The world is changing everyday.

    May 12, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. dreamersempire

    I might point out that Santorum did NOT give Mitt Romney this advice at a debate hosted by this program, nor was it with a devious face on Santorum and an evil smile from Mitt. But what do you expect here?

    May 12, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. blake

    Santorum is absolutely right. The far left is completely out of touch with most Americans. New England, DC, and the West coast are filled with fruits, nuts, and flakes. Congress and the White House think these folks are mainstream America. They are not.

    May 12, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. badphish24

    Take the bait GoP. Be on the wrong side of history. "out of touch with america" These republicans live in a fantasy world of unlimited money women and fake friends.

    May 12, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. John

    Wait a sec, aren't the repubs the ones who claim they're for small government and minimizing its role in our lives? How can they be in favor of telling people who should and shouldn't be married? What am I missing here?

    May 12, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  22. John J. J. Schmidt

    Sure! Pennsylvania voters grew tired of the vermin Santorum and threw him out on his a55. You go, Mitt. Follow everything he tells you to the letter. It'll ensure Obama's second term. This hhould be fun as the party of hate, intolerance, religious craziness and fearmongering ramps up the rhetoric to their mouth breathing base.

    May 12, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. mike

    Rick Santorum is not a Christian. He would like to be, he wants everyone to believe he is but he is not. What he is though is a self centered egotistical fool who, like the Popes of the dark ages, believes anyone who disagrees with him should be tortured. To him the world is still flat and the universe rotates around the Earth. There is a reason he lost in the nomination battle. Reality is not one of his high cards.

    May 12, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. dreamersempire

    I'd like to point out that this advice from Santorum to Romney did not happen at a debate hosted by this station, with a sinister look from Santorum and an evil smile from Romney. But what do you expect here?

    May 12, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. werewolf1

    What they need to do is talk about the Economy,who cares what the Gays are doing.

    May 12, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25