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. Richter Scale

    I don't think these right wing lunatics are anti-gay, why else are they so keen to save gays from the hell that's marriage?

    May 12, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. vosky

    Mitt etch-a-sketch will NOT step up! How do you deal with a guy you do not really know what he STANDS for? GOP got it wrong on this one! The so-called GOP establishment (Karl Rove, Fox News et al) will destroy the party. But for the establishment, Sarah Palin would have contested and be the nominee. Love her or hate her, we know what Sarah STANDS for!!

    May 12, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. chuck

    america, we have seen this before. rich, old religious morons holding down the little guy to show how "righteous" they are in the eyes of their god. we have seen the destruction of the blight of racism in our politics and in our societies. now we must see that organized religion is becoming the new domestic enemy and it is holding this country back from our true potential. civil rights should always come before religious rights due to organized religions exclusive and controlling nature. this election year will decide whether we lead ourselves down the road to theocracy or toward the progress and equality for all. the dominant religion in the time this country was formed may have been Christianity but the values and people for which it was formed was that of everyone. the intent was to have a country that lead all others in the fields of equality and freedom. this election let it be known that the people will not stand to the side and let the bigoted and greedy take this country from us.

    May 12, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. rosita

    One moron catholic the other a mormon, NEITHER ONE IN TOUCH WITH REALITY!!

    May 12, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Ginger

    They don't have a plan, so all the Republicans can do is run a smear campaign.

    May 12, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Uncle Dutch

    There's your ticket. Frothman can "demure" all he wants, the only thing preventing him from actually falling on his knees and groveling in front of Mittens for the VP nod is his prune-pussed parochial pride. If they believe they can win this election by bashing gay people, bring it on (to quote that ghost from their party's past). The majority of Americans really don't believe men will start marrying turtles if "the gheys" are allowed equal rights, despite what nonsense dejure Bill-O the other clowns in the Winger Clown Car keep blathering about to fool the rubes into voting for them. Terrific idea there, Frothy...use hate and discrimination as a "weapon" to show the great unwashed your party's moral and ethical superiority. We'll see how that all works out for you come November.

    May 12, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. robertfromfl

    when is this hack going to realize he lost for a reason- and it aint the social conservatives that are the majority, its the educated.

    May 12, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. Mark H.

    Santorum is the one who's out of touch. There's nothing wrong with gay marrage, and by the middle of this century it will be allowed in all states. I'm a straight man and I'm a human. Gay people are humans too. If I have the right to be married, so do they. Eventually Americans are going to wake up to this fact and realize that what they've been doing to the LGBT community is the same thing this country did to the African American community 50 years ago. If we don't stop adhering to the backward ways of conservatism, then America can not make progress, and progress is what has always defined, and what must continue to define, this nation.

    May 12, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Kenny

    I think it's pretty obvious that it's Rick Santorum who is out of touch with the values of America. Enjoy your retirement, Rick.

    May 12, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. nin05

    I think Santorum needs to figure out exactly where America's values really are. This guy is a nut.

    May 12, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Jeff

    Anybody still think church and state are seperate in this country?

    May 12, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Alina1

    Rick reminds me more and more of that guy from the movie "Psycho".

    May 12, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Steve

    It is pathetic that in 2012 America a politician would even discuss "weaponizing" issues designed to further divide the citizens of our nation. The GOP continues to demonstrate their quest for power, hatred of our President and disregard for equality and the rights of individuals. From reproductive rights of women to immigration to the GLBT community, the Republican Party has no interest in consensus-building or advancing our country. They simply hate and hate some more. This is not the part of the people. There is no big tent. This is not about making America a better place. It is about power, money and domination.

    May 12, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. Anonymous

    You don't take advice from losers.

    May 12, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    The closest Romney will ever get to the White House is in name only the day after Obama wins his re-election, he takes his dog out on the White House lawn for a walk and to greet the Press and stops to scoop the poop his dog makes with a newspaper with Willard-the-middle-class-killer’s name on the front declaring, "Obama Wins Re-election while Romney Loses bid for White House by a wide margin."

    May 12, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Silent Majority

    Always nice when folks on the Right tell me what my "values" are. Last time I checked, I'm an American, and I'm not about to tell an entire group of people that they can't get married or have the same rights as a married couple, just because they happen to be a little different form me - that goes against my values.

    As a society, I'm sure we'll look back on this in 50 years and laugh at the backwards mentality displayed by some of these folks. In fact, we can get started on that right now. Have a good chuckle, everyone!

    May 12, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. AJW3

    Why would a political party that preaches over and over about individuals rights be so adamant about taking those same individual rights away? This is not about whether you are anti-gay or not......It's about individual rights. Let your God decide if they will go to hell or not as you are neither the judge nor jury.

    May 12, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. David becker

    The only people out of touch, are the GOPhers, There is a surprise in store in November!

    May 12, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. ironman59

    Once again the gop is using Individual Rights as club to beat people down. They want special privelages and protections for their views but refuse to give them to others. The whole essence of the marriage issue boils down to Contract Law. A marriage license is a contract between 2 people, aprroved by the state. To begin with, the state should have nothing to do with "approving" nor requiring a license. There should be nothing than a form that is filled out by both parties and filed at the local Clerk of Court.

    With regard to the whole "gawd" thing someone elses' religion should not be the basis of my secular laws. The right wants Seperation of Church & State when it comes to taxes, etc but not when it comes to creating laws based on their fairytales. Further more they argue about it destroying families when the divorce rate is around 50% and you have people like Gingrich running with multiple divorces. They also argue that it will be "bad for the children", yet all but 1 state allows gays to adpot.

    Again, the gop ignores facts and plays on an issue designed to pander to a minority base. The only reason the vote passed in NC is that the gop controlled legislatured moved it from the general election in November that would have had a higher turnout to the primary which is traditionally a far-right voting event. The number of people I personally saw being wheel chaired in from nursing homes just to vote on 1 item was sickening.

    May 12, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. Tim Weaver

    Silly me.

    I thought the "values of America" were liberty for all, not bigotry.

    May 12, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. AC

    SINK the GOP

    May 12, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. Anonymous

    That's right Romney, make this the most important issue in the campaign and go right ahead and appeal to the tea baggers (and only them). Obama is not wasting his time trying to get that vote anyway.

    Bad advice Santorum, Amerians are pretty much split on the issue so it is a wash as far as votes.

    May 12, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. Lysistrata

    S3x as a weapon - why didn't I think of that?!

    May 12, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Eric

    It is sad how out of touch Rick Santorum is with his ideology and I find it offensive that he is stating he is representing my values. It is a throwback to the times of oppression of women and African-Americans. We should be learning from history and not ignoring it. Mr. Santorum is unfortunately part of a large number of people who have no idea what it is like to be LGBT, and simply because it is different than them and their beliefs, are scared and outwardly express an ignorant, intolerant view. LGBT people should have the same civil liberties as everyone else and no one has the right to act morally superior and subjugate them into an inferior, morally corrupt segment of our society. Mr. Santorum, I hope you focus your prayers on your own enlightenment rather than forcing your beliefs on others.

    May 12, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. justlook502

    a loser giving another loser bad advise.

    May 12, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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