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. Ashley from Ohio

    Classy guys. "Let's use loving Americans whose only crime is wanting to get married as weapons in the election."

    May 12, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. Jorge UU Boosh

    HaHa- Rick Sanitarium was SOUNDLY REJECTED by his own state (PA) in his last election – 18% margin in 2006 – and Presiident Obama is the one who is ' out of touch' with Americans???

    This guy is out of touch with REALITY.

    May 12, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. Mtnmedic

    It's the economy Americans are worried about, stupid. Every study shows the majority of Americans are in favor of allowing or at least have no issues with gay marriage. They have more important things to be concerned with...like jobs, the cost of living, housing, health and education. Why the GOP will lose the White House: its focus on eliminating gay marriage and protecting the rich. This is why you're no longer in the race, Rick, so shut up and go away.

    May 12, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. ghostclown

    I thought Ron Paul was winning the delegate count. Are we still talking about Mitt Romney?

    May 12, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. Me

    Santorum is an idiot. No one cares about gays. If Romney does NOT want to get elected he'll talk about gay marriage instead of things like jobs and the economy. Oh and Santorum the MAJORITY of people favor gay marriage.

    May 12, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. veronica

    "take advantage of a president who is very much out of touch with the values of America."

    Really? Listening to what people want is the first thing when running for this job and I thank the heavens above that FINALLY we have someone who is doing his job. Thank you, Mr. President, for listening to the people!

    May 12, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  7. Beau

    Santorum trying to make an argument by saying someone else is "out of touch"? That's just too funny.

    May 12, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. Treegeek

    Santorum belongs in a Sanatorium, this guy is stuck in the 1920s, but says Obama is out of touch. Kind of ironic how Sanatorium and mittens are the real clueless goons. I think he was raised by wolves.

    May 12, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  9. sportreform

    Santorum is not for everybody.Do not take Santorum if you take ED medication, a dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking Santorum, especially if you are younger than 24 years old.Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

    May 12, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. Esteb

    Rickie – you are no longer in the race. No one is interested in your opinion. Zip it!

    May 12, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  11. Anonymous

    a weapon? i thought this whole election thing is about what's best for americans?

    May 12, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  12. Jane

    What Romney will soon realize is.. this will come back to haunt him if he tries to use it. Most people do not care one bit about this issue when it comes to the election because this issue is trivial compared to the economy. You can be for it or against it but it won't create jobs.

    May 12, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  13. tfbuckfutter

    I'm pretty sure MOST of the country doesn't want opinions of states like North Carolina and Arkansas dictating national policy.

    The fact that Santorum hung around the presidential race for so long, despite being an outspoken bigot who hates women and minorities, and doesn't even begin to understand education or science, really makes me concerned for the "values" of this country.

    May 12, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  14. Chris G

    Out of touch with American Values? America shall not be ran be any church. Christians are far too abrasive about forcing their stupid rules on everyones else. NEWS FLASH: NOT EVERYONE IS CHRISTIAN NOT DO WE CARE ABOUT YOUR STUPID RULES.

    May 12, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  15. billy davis

    Rick Santorum is a Catholic that is outraged by gay marriage. Yet, he's not outraged when a Catholic Preist he may know ra pes little boys.

    May 12, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  16. kenhbradshaw

    Boy, is that the wrong message. Here we are in the middle of the worse recession in 80 years and Santorum wants to talk about gay marriage. I bet Romney takes the high road here. After, expressing his beliefs on marriage, he will concentrate on the economy. This is a good example of why Santorum did not win it.

    May 12, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  17. Grady

    the only one truly out of touch is you Rick...

    May 12, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  18. 0Patric)

    Well, Rick, we'll have to wait a few minutes for Mittens to flip on this one.

    May 12, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  19. judy

    yeah take ol ricks advise. Please do Sure glad ricks not out of touch. Obama 2012

    May 12, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  20. calm

    santorum is the most out of touch politician I've seen in a long time, what an arrogant, hate-mongering ass.

    May 12, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  21. Ken

    "out of touch with the values of Americans?" Really now Mr. Santorum...What about recent polls that suggests younger Americans....45 and younger, approve of gay marriage by an overwhelming 60%...so don't you really mean the values of "conservative, evangelical, out of touch" Americans..which are actually, factually a minority in this country.

    May 12, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  22. Frank

    These guys are idiots.

    May 12, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  23. olepi

    Romney has one core value, one driving passion: to get richer. All else is just used to help goal #1. If he thinks being "left of Kennedy" will get him more, he'll say that. If he thinks being a "severe conservative" will get him more, he'll say that.

    May 12, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  24. gwats

    The inherent evil of men like Rick Santorum makes it absolutely essential that people get involved in the political process.

    May 12, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  25. a disgrace

    obama is desperate to save his failed presidency and keep the parties and vacations going!

    May 12, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
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