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. Lou Lange

    Rick Santorum – YOU are the one that is out of touch. This is the 21st century, not the 19th century. Step forward and embrace the modern world.
    And, as I have said before, don't go away mad, just go away.

    May 12, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. lovethisUS

    what a looser!! America needs a good plan for economy, job, finance. And that is all in Rebups's candidates' heads. LORD, have mercy!!!

    May 12, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. mark

    ... or in other words, these corporate puppets (trying to run for president) will say (or do) ANYTHING to get your vote.

    May 12, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. mark

    Yes Yes, listen to Rick Santorum! Loser.

    May 12, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. DJ

    Santorum is wrong, this election should focus on what is ailing this country. So many are fighting to put food on the table, heat and electricity for the homes they are having to fight to keep. President Obama is using the Gay Marriage platform to distract from the most serious issue and as a fund raising tool. Romney would be wise to stay on track for the American people who are truly suffering.

    May 12, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. Stevo

    Wait, SANTORUM said Obama was out of touch with the values of America?!?! What is this, opposite day?

    May 12, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. bobo

    You know if God really doesnt approve of gays...I am sure he will handle it. Why these people think they need to be the moral authority is beyond me. Let these gay couples marry and pay higher taxes. Fine with me. When it comes to them adopting children and bring them into a gay home that is where we need to have a wider discussion. But them getting married...who cares.

    May 12, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. sandra

    this santorium guy is so out there with his so called values he really is over romney needs to not listen to that loser he has his own problems the ;last couple of days for romney people are seeing what kind of person he was and still is a rich and spoiled who is for the rich cares nothing for poor and the working class people.

    May 12, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Oski

    I bet these two wish they could marry each other...

    May 12, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. Zoey

    I think we should talk about Romney's friendship with Netanyahu especially because Netanyahu has on more than a couple of occasion talked about Israel not taking the first strike against Iran but instead would just let the American's do it. If you don't care about war or bloodshed maybe the fact that our country can't afford another war would be enough incentive to not elect this guy.

    I mean come on, this man is a laughing stock and shouldn't be the Republican candidate for the president.

    What an embarrassment.

    May 12, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. pprty

    Bristol Palin took over Santorium's job as spokesperson for the Republican party, so move aside all you other has-been's.

    May 12, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. Trevor

    Such an ugly primary so far. So much hatred and slander. Mr Romney, focus on what needs to be done to better this country, rather then being hateful and bashing of others. Sell yourself. I want a good president, not just someone who is not Obama.
    Is that your only selling points, Mitt? 'You don't like this guy, so pick me instead?'
    Don't listen to Ricky boy, We already know he is a religious nut case.
    Rather then just say that you are better, tell us how. How do you plan to fix things, How does your plan work?
    Do you even know how you intend to do the things you are telling everyone you will do? Or, are they just things you are saying to rouse people into your flock.
    With as two-faced as you have been on issues. Back-stabbing and mud flinging compounded. I cannot support you. You are not a role model for America, however financially capable you may be.

    May 12, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. Zil Zerimar

    God the Father Santorum (Google santorum to find out how dirty he is) strike again. Okay Mitty listen to God the Father Santorum and talk about social issues instead of the economy and let's see what will happen.

    May 12, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. tom

    "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

    Couldn't finish reading because I was laughing so hard

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

    It's hardly surprsing. Were he of a different generation, Santorum would be using the opposition's comfort with Chinese immigration as a weapon, or their tolerance of Jews as a tool, or their sympathy towards Women's Rights as a wedge, or their support of school integration as a cudgle.

    May 12, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  16. Damn-U-Fools

    Doesn't the blithering idiot Santorum realize that it is his point of views that made him irrelevant and unsuccessful yet. Shut the hell up and go away! I hope the entire GOP does just that in November; not by their choice, but by the voters!

    May 12, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. John

    I thought Santorum had endorsed Romney, and here he is still trying to destroy him. Talk about the lame(brain) offering to lead the lame! Talk of the out-of-touch! This is a non-issue for just about everyone except Santorum himself.

    May 12, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  18. newz4i

    Santorum, "Hopefully Governor Romney will continue to stand tall for his position ..." Santorum gets it. Mr. Romney cannot "stand tall" on ANY position.

    May 12, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Pelegrim

    This just shows why the GOP is a dead party. Can you be any more out of touch with what's actually important to people?

    May 12, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. floyd

    " Stand up for America's values" he says. As in the marriage values of two of GOP's biggest hypocrites, Rush and Newt.

    May 12, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Mrs G

    Please, Mr. Romney, follow all of Santorum's advice. Takes me back to the 50's.

    May 12, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  22. robwriter

    Santorum: "Romney should use the potent weapon of gay marriage 'cause the topic worked out so well for me."

    May 12, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. Purnell Meagre

    I firmly believe that marriage is between a man and a woman – or a man and a corporation. or a woman and a corporation.... if the corporation is male – something like Carly Fiorina and Hewlettt Packard for example wold be OK>

    May 12, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. Katie

    Um, WHO is out of touch with America's values? The guy who thinks no women should have birth control nor should they have prenatal care because it might lead to a decision to abort, even if it saves the life of the mother? (The same guy whose own wife had a late term abortion based on prenatal testing, a decision that saved HER life...) The guy who bullied his way through high school and now offers the lame "I don't remember that" excuse? The two guys who think its ok for people not to have health care coverage? The party that has shown no respect for the office of the presidency these last three and a half years? The party whose elected politicians have refused to get anything done?

    Last time I heard, American values included didn't include discrimination, restriction, oppression, bullying, lying, denial, and a complete lack of work ethic.

    May 12, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. cynthia hicks

    Santorum is out of touch with modern times... we don't need a silly book of fairy tales to do our thinking FOR us OR tell us our moral values or what they should be. That is the foundation of half the bigotry out there throw the silly thing away and wake up to the 21st century.

    May 12, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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