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. jdalco

    if he is smart Romney won't fall for the distraction this is and will stay focused on the real issues in this country, JOBS and folks able to get by day to day. Gay Marrage should not be an issue here and all the Dems are trying to do is divert the discussions from their record over the past few years so voters won't think. We need to stay focused on the important stuff like getting us back to work, cutting the government, cutting waste like the TSA, and govenment debt. Gay Marrage is way down in the noise as to what Romney should be out talking about.

    May 12, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. Don

    Yeah that worked out so well for Santorum didn't it .. Santorum is a religious bigot period ..

    May 12, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. MikeH

    Meanwhile Santorum is very much out of touch with the legal principles which are the basis of this nation and any free state.

    May 12, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  4. Mike

    Dear Rick Santorum: the values of North Carolinians do not reflect those of the nation as a whole. You bowed out, you're done. Go away now.

    May 12, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. prediction

    I believe 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 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. John J. J. Schmidt

    Sure! Pennsylvania voters grew tired of Santorum and threw him out. 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 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. Eddie

    How can any Christian vote foq Mitt Romney? His a Mormon and MORMON'S DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST. That means Romney is NOT A CHRISTIAN.

    May 12, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. badphish24

    How can a person who never knew what it was like to put in an honest days work even comment on the values of america. Ill tell you what is important in our country and thats equal rights. Thats what our country was built on. We came here to become free of people like mitt. People who have so much money life is a game. People who can abuse the rules because they can buy there way out of anything. Take the bait GoP take the bait.

    May 12, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. John J. J. Schmidt

    Pennsylvania voters grew tired of Santorum and threw him out. Follow everything he tells you to the letter, Mitt. It'll ensure Obama's second term.

    May 12, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. flip

    Wow. Talk about people who are out of touch. This coming from a man who thinks conception takes place right after the bra is unhooked; giving advice to a man whose hasn't gone food shopping for himself for decades, and is currently installing a lift for his auto-read really expensive one-while most americans are scratching for a living. If this is the level of candidate that is available, then we are all in deep do-do.

    May 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Eddie

    How can any Christian vote for Mitt Romney? He is a Mormon and MORMON'S DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST. That means Romney is NOT A CHRISTIAN.

    May 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Steve

    Great idea, make blatant discrimination your "potent weapon". Check out what happened to the dixiecrats who tried that.

    May 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. midnitejax

    Santorum was feared for his extremist views fueled by religion. His early departure from the race for the GOP candidacy speaks volumes on his support from his own party. If Romney chooses to accept Santorums' advice, or follow his footsteps, he will have committed a grievous error that will spell certain death to his bid for the White House.

    May 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  14. Pete

    I am saddened by the hate and disrespect these Republicans have for great Americans that happen to be gay. I have been with my best friend and partner for 10 years, we are both Afghanistan OEF veterans that have proudly served the country we love. We are family oriented, try to always do what is right for fellow man, and just want to live a happy, fulfilling, and meaningful life. SHAME on these discriminatory politicans who want to hypocritically lead "THE LAND OF THE FREE". I wonder how Mr. Romney would feel if our country banned the religious belief of Mormonism and said it was a disqualifier for running for President? I want each person that reads this to think of something you do in life that you think is right and others may not agree with- now lets put that issue on the ballot in the next election and now say it's against the law and see how you feel. I have the utmost repect for my commander in chief and President. He is a role model for the most important concept of our country- civil rights and doing what is right and standing up for our citizens. Wake up Mr. Romney and Mr. Santorum- your hatred and thought of using this issue for political gain is shameful.

    May 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  15. sylviemonster

    What a joke the all this talk of the value of marriage in the traditional sense. Our divorce rate soars, Mormon did, still do, and would love to continue plural marriages. Even in the Bible men had multiple wives. So what is so wrong with loving someone regardless of gender? I urge all those associated with the GOP and those outside that party to look at what value the GOP places on any of the principles Jesus taught...love one another, care for the poor, do unto others. Where do these values fit into the dogma of this party?

    May 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. Tessa2U

    How Christian -like of him (Santorum). A true glimpse into the REAL character of the self-proclaimed guardian of Christian values. How can anyone respect these guys?

    May 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. edwardo

    Nothing like being at Lincoln Center (a shrine for freedom), to advocate using hatred as a weapon. I thought I hated Xtianity before, but now I'm sure of it. Hatred is not a value!

    May 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Steve

    Santorum is the one of out of touch. His words "weaponize"is going to create more hatred. I am a republican and this makes me totally disgusted with my party , Obama you just got my vote.

    May 12, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. NameJojo

    Rick Santorum's latest urges involve other men. He wants underwear model Mitt to try a new position, and utilize his powerful "weapon" on an attractive and powerful black male. Apparently Mitt is to take the dominant standing position in taking advantage of his valueless tender victim. Apparently Santorum is not sure he instead wants to be Mitt's mate but he doesn't appear to be ruling it out.

    May 12, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. PTBarnumboy

    Amen brother Rick.

    May 12, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Santorum had his moment as a statistical front runner in the GOP's "Anybody but Romney" nomination run. But his candidacy foundered because his ONLY focus was on wedge issues. And now he wants to bring down Romney by encouraging the presumptive nominee to follow the same failed path. Where are the JOBS?

    May 12, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. lefty avenger

    Republicans are going to lose this election because their strategy of hating everyone who isn't an aging angry conservative white man isn't going to work. If the country were all hatful late middle age white men who control 99% of the country then they would win.

    May 12, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. Ted Davenport

    Gee, do you think maybe, just maybe it's Rick Santorum who might be out of touch?
    The majority of Americans think so.

    May 12, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  24. RRuin

    Yes, Mitt, take Ricky's advice and let your bigot flag fly!

    May 12, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  25. Anonymous

    GoP take the bait please.

    May 12, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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