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. A not-so-stupid former republican

    These republican bible thumpers need to stop trying to cram their bigoted religious beliefs down the throats of normal Americans.

    May 12, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. Brian

    It's disgusting to me that people want to use their hatred for my love and rights to simply try and win an election. I pray that Rick and Mitt know that this is wrong, but something tells me they won't get the message. They talk about sin and morals, but what greater sin is there to stomp on the already broken souls of millions of Americans? I thought God said to love thy neighbor, not to use hatred for them for personal gain.

    "Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love" Alma 38:12

    May 12, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. Rick Sutter

    Very poor advice. This election is about the economy, not marriage.

    May 12, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. justiceinamerica

    Under the name of God we all must abide by his law to the defenition of man and woman in marriage in God we trust. OBAMA JUST WANT TO SUPPORT THE GAY COMMUNITY TO GAIN VOTES JUST LIKE CLINTO DID WHEN HE RUN FOR PRESIDENT..THE CHURCH SHOULD BE RESPECTED, AS THE GAY COMMUNITY SHOULD UNDERSTAND GOD AS WELL IN THEIR HEARTS. We all are children of God but for politicians to use their needs for votes is wrong. Love is more important than a piece of paper. I abide by the law of God..

    May 12, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Santorum is the one who is out of touch. Even the republicans rejected him.

    May 12, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Peter

    Santorum is the one who is out of touch with America. If the GOP wants to lose again, they should make him the VIce-candidate, he has as much vote-killing power as Palin.

    May 12, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. DarqueSide

    LMAO! Yeah, Mitt... take that 'potent weapon' and Rick's Dark Ages philosophy and see how far that gets you! Great advice coming from the guy who LOST the nomination!

    May 12, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. nyumbu

    It would be more prudent to use the economy as a weapon considering it`s the main issue of this election. However neither Romney or Obama have proven they have what it takes to fix it. Ron Paul is the only candidate who has a thorough responsible plan to put the economy back on track.

    May 12, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Seth Hill

    When Santorum says "out of touch with the values of America," he is factually wrong. Polls indicate that slightly more than half of Americans agree with Pres Obama. He should have said "...out of touch with my values," which would have been correct.

    May 12, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Ryan C.

    It is Santorum who appears out of touch with American values. Values like tolerance and compassion. The "gay" issue is a non-issue for almost all except those who identify themselves as evangelical.

    May 12, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Dave

    Santorum giving bully Mitt any advice on this topic is as funny as John McCain giving any advice to Mitt on how to pick a VP. Figure, the GOP eletes just warned the party to reverse it's policy on gay marriage and this loser-idiot advises alexithemic Mitt to do the opposite. And really rich, today Mitt "tip toes" around the marriage controversy in his excuse-as-a-stomp-address speech at Liberty U. Where is that bully who got up a posse to assualt another boy hiding it? Come on Mitt, where have your b*lls gone lately?

    May 12, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. oregonideas

    great idea Ricky, all romney need to do is become more like you and all will be well....in fact, you're right; the more he becomes like you the more he isolates himself out on the right-wing fringe of American politics and the less likely we are to have him as a President. To Know Him is to Loathe Him and we're all getting to know Mitt better each day.....the stories of his adolescent bullying fit neatly into his elitest, pampered persona.....by all accounts, he simply is not a very nice man. and, of course, he offerss no remourse for his actions....has enough sense not to deny them..too many wittnesses for that...he "just doesn't remember".....and, gee, "I apologize if anyone was offended"..the weakest, most meaningless "apology" imaginable. Mitt is a very wealthy, very insulated, very self-centered guy...there are a lot of rich guys just like him, and like him, none should even be considered for the office of President (and, yes, you're right, we did make that mistake in 2000 and 2004)

    May 12, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  13. msimons

    Subject of gay marriage should be a minor part of air time and possible future debate. Lord knows there are other issues economy, health, energy, enviro that affect every person. But maybe since Obama doesn't seem up to tackling those, he goes for one he might think he could tackle with a executive order.

    May 12, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. david

    Yes, please, please take advice from Santorum, the guy who thinks American values should come straight from the Ol' Testimony of a Bronze Age people.

    May 12, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. ohgram

    Santorum just doesn't understand the real issues facing the American families. If you can't put food on the table, get reasonable medical insurance coverage, pay your mortgage or fill up your car's gas tank, everything else doesn't matter. Wealthy politicians who think that all will be solved by more children being born and marriage only between male and female need to just spend their day at the country clubs with their likes to talk about how they can help eachother make more money and thumb their noses at those they have helped put out of a job. Real issues, boys!

    May 12, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Nobody cares what Ricky boy, the Pope of the United States (POTUS), has to say. Shut the hell up Ricky boy and go to catechism and then jump in front of a speeding train. And please hurry up. America is tired of your moaning and groaning. You will always be remembered and placed in the hall of shame along with Gingrich, Perry, Bachman, Herman Cain, Fox Factless News, and Willard the Millionaire Mormon – all losers and total morons with PhDs in StOoPiDiTy.

    May 12, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. joejeffrey

    Well, Father Rick is right in one way: focusing on gay marriage will clarify the contrast between Obama and Romney: the guy who cares about the welfare the the people, and the guy who cares about doctrinal purity, whether of extremist capitalism or extremist pseudo-Christianity.

    May 12, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  18. AKsteve

    I find it funny how the GOP seems to think they should determine what my values are. I always thought a fundamental value of America was the freedom to choose.

    I guess for the GOP you have the freedom to choose as long as it is what they tell you to choose.

    May 12, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. scama

    if they reconize 'gay marriage', and give them rights, then they should allow 'common law marriage' too. what about the couples that don't want the big ceremony, but have a family? it's just a political move and if obama is going to support this 'stand', then Mr. Romney, sir, 'welcome to the white house!'

    May 12, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    The President is very much in touch with America. It's the GOP that live in la-la-land or at least on Pluto. They're so far out of touch, they have no idea what America stands for anymore.

    May 12, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Kim

    Geez, why don't these sanctimonious blowhards keep their snouts out of other peoples' business. I've never heard such a fuss over other peoples' affairs in my life. Waving your tatty Bible in peoples' faces is not a good foundation for your reasoning. How hateful can you get?

    May 12, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. Vern

    Rick!!! Who is out of touch here, you poor delirious man

    May 12, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. reality check

    Dick Cheney said the EXACTLY the same thing as Obama, but years earlier.

    May 12, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. Andrew

    If there's one person that is out of touch with the values of America, it's Rick Santorum.

    May 12, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  25. ronald raygun

    santorum is pathetic. gay marriage as a weapon? really? i thought there were serious problems with america. we need solutions to rebuild our great country not weapons to destroy it more.

    May 12, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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