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. jerry

    Rick, sit down and shut the hell up. You are done!!!!

    May 12, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. Pratek Patel

    .. If people accept it, therefore it must be right. Correct? You're the liberal/democrat that is out of touch.

    May 12, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Dan

    Rick Santorum is a vile, hateful and ass-backwards man. He truly belongs in the 16th century when the church burned non-believers and woman were 4th-class citizens. I hope Mitt relies on this guy for all his so-called "moral" wisdom. That's how Obama will surely get re-elected. Thanks Ricky, keep up the good work!

    May 12, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. Anonymous

    this guy is unbelievable. there is a reason why he is out of the race. there is a reason why obama is our president. give thanks to obama for standing up for human liberties!

    May 12, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. Hoo Myself

    Santorum wants Romney to use Gay marriage as a weapon,
    and Republicans are screaming that Democrats are just using this for votes
    but Republicans arent ?
    Amazing !!!!!

    May 12, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. Winston5

    You just know Mitt's like, "Yeah Rick, thanks, I got this."

    May 12, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. Name

    Why dont santorum use a weapon now himself and talk about some issues he believes in or just shut up and go away.

    May 12, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. veetkoosh

    Santorum hasn't won an election in 12 years. Yet, he's still delusional enough to think he is more in touch with American values than Obama, and that he has valuable advice to offer on political strategy. Ha! Progress has moved on without you, Rick.

    May 12, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Dancer

    Yeah Mittens...you take Insanitorum's advice and go that route...

    May 12, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. MIke

    Out of touch = out of the race!

    May 12, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Rob

    While I do believe in marriage equality, every state has shown that those who oppose marriage equality will show up to vote while a lot of of people who say that believe in it won't take the time to vote or gay marriage would be legal in many states that clearly show it winning in polls.

    May 12, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. Sally Whitaker

    Politicians need to remember that they are having an influence on real people. It sounds like Mr. Santorum wants to use people to further his own name. I like Mr. Romney's weighted approach. He seems to understand that real people are in the balance and a real future is going to be dramatically effected by what happens in the election.

    May 12, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. R.I.P. G.O.P.

    Sanitarium – YOU are the one who is out of touch with American values! ROFL You want to roll back women's rights to the 1950s, ban abortion and birth control. The majority of Americans are fair minded people who favor equality. So, I say, BRING IT ON, bigot!

    May 12, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Craig Vale

    I was hoping against hope that the sanctimonious Rickyboy would have taken a page from MacArthur and just faded away but alas we are doomed to endure more of this zealots bigotry and pontificating at least through the convention in Tampa. Ig Mittens has any sense ( and that is a valid question ) he would put as much distance between himself and the anointed one ASAP. Ricky was about to suffer a crushing defeat in his own home state in no small part due to his desire to cram his religious beliefs down everyone's throats! Ricky is so far out of touch with the 21st century he has become a pathetic throw back to decades long past. I just wish he'd go away.

    May 12, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. harrisonhits2

    Of course the GOP will try and steer the election to issues like this instead of the economy and how their previous administration destroyed it and engaged in massive war profiteering in their illegal war against Iraq.

    They don't want anyone to be reminded of the fact that when Bush / Cheney went into office we had a 50 billion dollar surplus in our Federal budget and when the exited the US was something like 8 trillion in debt. Their only goal is to rape the country of its wealth and transfer that generated by the many into the coffers of the very few and already massively wealthy. These people care nothing for the US and its people other than as a revenue generator for themselves.

    May 12, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. LTNN7890

    President Obama is the most " IN TOUCH " of any candidate we have today , He is for all America
    where as the other candidates are only here for the 1 % , Believe me they want to keep the 99% down and out ,
    It scares the Republicans to see a blue coller worker buy a $ 700 k ,house , there aim is to keep you out of college , keep you broke and uninformed as to what they are doing to America behind their back .

    May 12, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. Linda

    Right little Ricky, because your run for the President worked out so well for you. I do hope Romney takes your advice, but I don't think he's That dumb.

    May 12, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. Portia2708

    Please...I mean PLEEEEASE tell me why in the world Mitt Romney would take advice from Rick Santorum...especially on this issue...this issue is one of the main reasons this man could NEVER win anything in this country again...people have moved on...they have friends and relatives who they know to be gay...they don't want them persecuted

    May 12, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. Dieter Zerressen

    Let's see: Santorum lost his senate seat by 18 points and lost the GOP primary by even more and he says Obama is out of touch? Unbelievable.

    May 12, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. rev mitt

    The sad thing is that gay marriage will decide the election instead of the REALLY IMPORTANT issues like THE ECONOMY AND JOBS!!!!

    Lets face it, Americans are stupid and are easily manipulated by right wing hate

    May 12, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. Andrew Wiggin

    America does not have one system of values; it is our intellectual diversity that allows our nation to thrive. Mr. Santorum, please consider the diverse opinions of those whom you wish for Gov. Romney to represent.

    May 12, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Tam

    Santorum's obsession over this says that he has some issues he must face. This is not the most urgent problem for the country.

    May 12, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. John

    Now there's some good advice! lmao

    May 12, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. JDinHouston

    Note to Romney – Santorum used the divisive tactics and he lost to you. Might want to make a note of that before you take political advice from him.

    May 12, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    Hey Rick...why don't you give former VP Dick Cheney a call and ask him how he feels about gay marriage?

    May 12, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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