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. Blame Bush

    Santorum behaves like the usual religious extremist reactionary, i.e., attack and kill anyone who's not one of us.

    That's why years ago I coined the phrase "American Taliban" to describe the religious right zealots like Robertson, Falwell, Dobson, Hagee, Haggard, Rekers, Copeland, Hinn, et al..

    If Romney attacks Obama on gay rights (i.e., a civil rights issue) it will demonstrate to the voting public just how out of touch and unbalanced is the religious right, and lose a few million more votes for the GOP cause.

    This is exactly what I expected to happen, that the religious right ( who are neither ) would go nuts on Obama. Again.

    May 12, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. Rrp

    Excuse me...The values of America is not repressing its people of given rights...."we are all created equal".....wonder why your not the GOP front runner.? You can't run on Hate and judgement it isn't Christian anymore.

    May 12, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. JBS

    You go right ahead and do just that. It will be your undoing.

    May 12, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. bilk7

    Wonderful advice from someone who's totally out of sync with the values of Americans to someone who can not connect with average Americans.

    May 12, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. noneyabizness

    Lololol "out of touch with the values of America". Majority now supports it. So you can go get hit by a truck now, Santorum.

    May 12, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Mvin On DwnTheRd

    Santorum; noting more needs to be said.

    May 12, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Blame Bush

    Santorum behaves like the usual religious reactionary, i.e., destroy anyone who's not one of us.

    That's why years ago I coined the phrase "American Taliban" to describe the religious fear mongers like Robertson, Falwell, Dobson, Hagee, Haggard, Rekers, et al..

    If Romney attacks Obama on gay rights (i.e., a civil rights issue) it will demonstrate to the voting public just how out of touch and unbalanced is the religious right, and lose a few million more votes for the GOP cause.

    This is exactly what I expected to happen, that the religious right ( who are neither ) would go nuts on Obama. Again.

    May 12, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Tony

    Santorum still doesn't realize his use of it 'as a weapon,' is part of the reason he isn't even in the race.

    May 12, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Bonnie

    WHEN will this guy and others realize that not all AMERICANS hold his hatred of things. He is the one out of touch. I am a 65 year old happily married grandmother who sees nothing wrong when people love and care for each other.

    May 12, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. joe

    I wonder how many closeted gay republicans were cringing in their seats while St. Rick Sanctorum was urging a campaign of hatred?

    May 12, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Ricky you have some 'splaining to do...

    Odd... National polls show that the majority of Americans now support gay marriage and are rejecting religious bigotry. So tell us, Ricky: Who is out of touch with the values of America?

    May 12, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Steve

    LOL. It's Ayatollah Santorum and Midas Romney who are out of touch. Good luck with that, clowns.

    Wake up America. The Republican party hates each and every one of you, for one reason or another.

    May 12, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. Kent Bowen

    Didn't work for Santorum who was preaching to the choir, why does he think it will work for Romney?

    May 12, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. dj98

    Don't do it!

    May 12, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Rob

    This is why none of them have any credibility whatsoever.

    May 12, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. Jeff In Oregon

    What hateful and intolerant group. Only repugnicans are able to turn love and caring for others into a negative thing. These people are not currently and will not be good for our country's future. What a disgusting bunch.

    May 12, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Anthony Caudill (tcaudilllg)

    The devil's words are sweet to hear.

    May 12, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. JD

    Santorum and Romney are too stupid to realize how many Christians are actually gay. I'm not gay, but their lack of intelligence amuses me.

    May 12, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. kman821

    How ironic that a man (term used loosely) so out of touch with reality would accuse another man of reality disconnect.

    May 12, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. Joe

    I don't think Santorum is in any position to be the barometer of America.

    May 12, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. R.Merrell

    Santorum has no concept of equality and human dignity. His values are not sacrosanct. He's free to believe and practice whatever he wishes. But he has no right to impose those "values' on others. Republicans are supposedly all about personal freedom. It's time they started walking the walk.

    May 12, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  22. tosser

    These dudes have a very distorted view of American values. "Believe what i believe" just doesn't work and I'm pretty sure we have WAY more important things to worry about than who's marrying who. I would like to think the average American is more interested in a robust economy, peace and freedom.

    May 12, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. BobE

    The only one out of touch is Mr. Santorum. The word "equality" only has one meaning. No society can ever attain greatness if it discrimnates against any segment of their society. I am a straight man married with two children. I cannot recall a single instance in my 71 years on this earth when anyone of the gay community adversely effected my life in anyway. Those who discriminate are of a certain mind set and no amount of argument will ever change their minds. Mr. Santorum is an prime example of an individual who seeks public office with the intention of getting us all to think their way. Shame on you, Mr. Santorum, shame on you. As a man who calls himself a "Christian," I would think you would have more "love" and "tolerance" for those who do not fit the lopsided mindset you have carved out for yourself. Thank goodness you and people like you do not attain higher office.

    May 12, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. 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 heII not as you are neither the judge nor jury.

    May 12, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. Kevin Johnston

    "out of touch with the values of America"? What are those values? Intolerance and inequality? Not the image I like to think in my mind when I think about "America".

    "detrimental ... to society"? Canada has had Gay Marriage for years and there are no Nazi's riding on dinosaurs there. Perhaps politicians should focus on the real issues rather than finding ways to further restrict people's rights.

    May 12, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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