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. ij

    Don't Make Dan Quayle's Murphy Brown all over again. Let's talk about how to unite this country.

    May 12, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. joejeffrey

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

    May 12, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. Pat

    santorum is out of touch about his assertion that the President is out of touch. santorum is also out to lunch.

    May 12, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Phil Newton

    Somehow Rick urging Mittsy to "Step up and use your potent weapon" sounds a bit...repressed.

    Besides, didn't he do that in prep school?

    May 12, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. ESMATX

    That would be horrible advice. Even Fox News stated yesterday that their own polls show the nation evenly divided on the issue of gay marriage but with support continuing to rise every year. In other words, Santorum and Romney are out of touch with reality. Even many of the conservatives are back peddling now on the issue, including Romney as they see that they are on the wrong side of history. What they really want is to turn the United States into a theocracy while nobody is looking...

    May 12, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. pprty

    Does "values" mean denying rights?

    May 12, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  7. Michael Stout

    Obama isn't out of touch with the American people. You, Santorum, and Romney are out of touch with the human race.

    May 12, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. Ozzie

    Ricky, you are loaded with inner conflicts about all those you find different. There are very few people left for you to hate and alienate – all in God's name. Please go on a 30 day Retreat to work out these inner, hate-filled conflicts. You are a dangerous citizen and a radically limited Catholic. As a Pennsylvanian and a Catholic, I find you so embarrassing. Go on Retreat.

    May 12, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. beill davis

    Nothing wrong with a Chicago Bath house and 15 million dollar donations...

    May 12, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. lol

    the right wing is at it again

    May 12, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. radioactive

    If anyone is out of touch it's people like Santorum, Bachmann, Palin and other Teapublicans that want to take the country back a few hundred years to our founding fathers. My god...this is the 21st century. Such hypocrites they are. Always preaching LESS government, LESS legislation BUT of course NOT when it comes to what THEY believe in. THEY have every right to tell US(especially women) what to do with our lives when it comes to the bible and whatever religion they believe in. I sure hope Americans aren't naive enough to listen to these characters come election day. Embarrassing.

    May 12, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. Chad%Biff

    If the evangelicals and the Mormon cultists are going to form an alliance, I hope those Evangelicals are ready for the surge in Mormon recruitment – into their wacky Mormon cult – in the event that Romney is elected.

    May 12, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. RedDonnaAnn

    Yes, weaponize gay marriage. It worked so well for Mr. Santorum.

    May 12, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. clarinets

    Mitt: Santorum is a total loser. Don't do anything he says.

    May 12, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. stan

    I'm pretty sure the recent primary voting shows that santorum is only qualified to tell someone how NOT to run a campaign for president.

    May 12, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. G01851

    Rick... you're irrelevant. Time for you to go away now.

    May 12, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  17. oregonideas

    Ricky offers really sound advice here "just become more like me and all will be well"....actually, I agree...the more Romney becomes like Santorum on any issue, the more he isolates himself out on the right-wing fringe of American politics and the elss likely he is to be elected president....Romney is a rich, pampered self-centered guy. The recently published accounts of his adolescent bullying behaviors fit perfectly into this persona....Notice he didnt attempt to deny the accounts,..too many wittnesses for that. He simply "doesn't remember"...if you're stupid enough to believe that, you likely need a lot of help reading this post. He does offer an apology "to anyone who might have been offended". This cliche' apology is the weakest, most meaningless imaginable...no acknowledgement that anything was wrong with his actions; no acceptance that those actions even occurred, and absolutely no contrition. His approach only compounds his sins...and, yes, nasty, bullying behaviors are sins (whether you're religious or not). Mitt is not the kind of guy I'd want for a friend (yes, I know, I'm safe on this one) and, for damn sure, he's not the kind of guy I'd want as our President....let's just hope I'm safe on this one too.

    May 12, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Yay! RIck Santorum the social progressive! He'll be here all week...

    May 12, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Keith

    Yes Romney. Further alienate yet another group of people from the Republican party. I am sure that will work gangbusters for you.

    May 12, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Alex

    Hate the true family value

    May 12, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  21. clarinets

    Hey Rick, it's the economy, not your morals.

    May 12, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. stateschool

    Santorum is right – Romney has to talk about his values. First, of course, Romney has to find something he believes in.

    May 12, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. rgbowe

    I don't want to see the candiate get side tracked, there is only really one issue here and Rommey should stay on it THE ECONOMY AND JOBS, without this nothing else really matters. All the rest can be addressed later. If no one is working and the economy really sucks, what's the difference.

    May 12, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. livin in the usa

    Insanetorum is out of touch with America that's why he is out of the race.

    May 12, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. Hoo Myself

    This "potent" weapon will back fire in his face.

    May 12, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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