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. Mark

    Mitt, Please don't make the election about social moral "American Values". We need a chief executive who can handle the BUSINESS of running the country. The far-right has enough discontent with BO that you don't have to worry about them not voting. It is the social moderates who will decide the election.....IMHO

    May 12, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Mike

    "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,"

    Since when did the majorities "values" trump civil rights? Damn, didn't we figure this out years ago? Scary.

    May 12, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. Coflyboy

    LOL... Obama, and not Santorum being out of touch with American values... Now isn't THAT the pot calling the kettle black. Go for it Mitt– see what happens. Maybe reality might hit you upside the head with a 2×4.

    May 12, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. RINO Bil

    Good advice Mitt, base your campaign on recommendations from a loser whose even repudiated by his own state. Make this an issue and you'll give Obama another four years.

    May 12, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Brian

    I hope Romney takes his advice, it will backfire in November. Romney and especially InSanitorium are the ones who are way out of touch. America is a huge melting pot, and you have to find common ground for all, not focus on the values of a narrow band of religious bigots.

    May 12, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. lolarites

    Santorum: oh, the mention of gay anything makes my heart go piddy pat!

    May 12, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. really?

    "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,"

    Don't most polls say that most American's support gay marriage? Seems like Santorum may be the one out of touch with the values of America.

    May 12, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. Lucky Lucy

    Any politician who takes advice from Santorum, deserves and will lose.

    May 12, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. 0RacKL

    I'm not gay but I'd still rather live in an America as Obama conceives it - that is, a humane America - than in one as Santorum/Romney conceives it - any day of the week.

    May 12, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Louisiana Man

    Let's be intimidated by the archaic, medieval, draconian-esq musings of a failed campaign from the top 'holier than thoust' dictator of Christianity..

    did any blow heart interfere w/ricky's private time in his bedroom?

    he is correct concerning MR's absence of values..

    May 12, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. FormerMarineSgt

    Yup. how nice of Santorum. Use your bigotry against gays as a 'weapon'.

    Shows why YOU aren't the nominee dude.

    In other words, your extremism is what made you a loser when you lost your reelection to Congress, AND it clearly made you the loser in your attempt to get the nomination for President.

    So, please – take your damm sweatervests and go home, back to the 'makes me feel good' crowd you hung out with before you embarassed yourself by running for President.

    May 12, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. Kosenrufu

    I think Mr. Santorum is out of touch with the values of America. We have become a hugely diverse society of beliefs and orientations. If he wants to live in a mindset from 100 years ago that's his business but he shouldn't say other people are out of touch. I think its a matter of perspective.

    Kosenrufu
    "creat peace in your own corner of the world"

    May 12, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. I Like to tiE My doG To the rooF Of tHE famILY Car for FUN

    ""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 "

    Did Sandi just threaten the POTUS?! ...lets dissect his (divisive) language
    1. a very potent weapon"
    2. take advantage of a president"
    3. reason->"very much out of touch with the values of America"

    Someone notify the SS regarding Mr. Insanatorium's loosely veiled threats against the POTUS please

    May 12, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. trumod

    Hey, Santorum: shut the F up! http://www.dognewsteam.com/2012/04/17/santorum-bombshell/

    May 12, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Matt S

    As a straight guy, who am I to deny another person the right to choose whether marriage is for them? GOP is out of touch, and promoting fear (of change) as its strategy to win 2012

    May 12, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. Worried about the GOP

    Santorum lost the primaries because he doesn't understand the complex nature of the GOP party. We used to be a party of rational order – not ideological dictum. He (and people like him) want to rule the American people from the pulpet. And as much as I believe Americans OUGHT to be 'ruled' from time time time, they won't, they don't and they'll react badly when you try. Obvious to everybody else in the GOP that these and other 'social' issues are off topic anyhow. Americans want to know where the jobs are – and rightly so. Chasing down Gays is more wasted time...

    May 12, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. Voice of Reason

    If the majority of our country believes marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman, that same se*x- marriage is morally wrong and should be banned then we would should change the name of our country to the United States of Bigotry. This evil agenda is not what our America was founded-on or stands for. This is clearly a terrorist attack on our 1st amendment when you start filtering-in religious beliefs into a secular government. Keep your god and your religion away from our children and our government.

    May 12, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. tantalum

    Oh Rick I suggest you recheck the pulse of the country to see that in fact the majority do in fact support the president....and likely an even larger majority don't care about it as an election day issue. Let Romney go down the path of this being a big election issue and his defeat will be at the end of that path.

    May 12, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. candideinnc

    Do it, Mittens! Do it! It worked out so well for the Santorum!

    May 12, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. rock woman

    Sorry, but I'd rather encourage Americans to step up and use their "potent weapons" to take advantage of Santorum and Romney, who are even more out of touch with the values of America - and not only on the subject of gay marriage.

    May 12, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. jefflazrn

    In the end, the values that the president cares most deeply about is how we treat other people."

    This is really the bottom line sentiment, isn't it? Why would anyone go out of their way to deny two consenting adults the same rights the rest of us enjoy? Who is harmed? How does two men or two women getting married to each other devalue, demean, or otherwise undermine the quality of anyone else's relationship with their spouse? Conservatives love to talk about freedom, self determination, and how government meddles in our lives but they come out so strongly opposed to an issue that is really about exactly all those things. There isn't a more obvious live and let live issue out there right now. It seems like a natural issue for anyone who really believes in personal freedom and self determination to get behind and Americans are increasingly in agreement over it. In 20 years we're going to look back on this issue with the same head shaking embarrassment that we do now when we talk about inter-racial marriage.

    May 12, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. kerfluffle

    Ahhh...nice to see Monsignor Frothy still feeding on his own...!

    May 12, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. jmc

    yes by all means take advice from the guy who lost miserably. or the miserable guy who lost. To think that anyone who stands up for equal rights for all Americans is the one out of touch.

    May 12, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Expected. Since every other important issue (economy, deficit, Iran/NK nuclear aspirations, Afghanistan, etc. etc.) has been badly flubbed by the Repugnants, let's bring what should be a state-only issue to the forefront of national politics.

    May 12, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. Paul

    You know Romney is the wrong guy for President if he starts taking advice from Santorum.

    May 12, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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