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. brainwash

    All this article is trying to do with this article is to continue to irritate believers of gay marriage up until the election and when they hopefully vote. But your vote doesn't mean gay marriage becomes law. Sorry. The President's revelation that he now supports it has no weight on it being supported or passed at the federal level. Gay marriage has nothing do to with the November election, in the scenario that actually voting for Obama has no weighting on gay marriage somehow passing, if re-elected.

    May 12, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. LTNN7890

    Its traditional for politicians to B/S ,or fib a little ,but in this race the Republicans have told so many lies with out thinking that you might know they are lieing , You cant count the lies as fast as they tell them , You cant believe any thing they say now .

    May 12, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. Eroc

    What an embarrassing man. His Taliban bretheron are proud of him I'm sure.

    May 12, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. BetweenUnemployment

    Let's see, cover the actual GOP candidate who brings out thousands to his rallies and wins a plurality of delegates from 9 states or the guy who dropped out? THIS IS WHY THERE ARE PAULBOTS. We don't ask for much. Just neutral coverage. We don't even get that much...so we have to constantly post in comment sections to wake up America.

    May 12, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. Larry L

    Hate and divisiveness is always a big part of the Republican Platform. How'd that work out for you Santorum?

    May 12, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. paul cos

    The most out of touch politician who thinks its still 1750,is telling us that the president is out of touch with the values of america!!..Rick 1750 called and you can come back now

    May 12, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. One Voter

    Keep going, Repubs. You are on the right path. Keep going. And handing victory to Obama in November. We Dems will bury Romney's presidential run hopes right next to the failed runs of Bob Dole and John McCain and Barry Goldwater and all the rest.

    May 12, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. W.G.

    How cynical , how evil , how republican . To use a civill rights issue and treat it as a weapon to appeal to other
    bigots . This is why They could not get the Latino because of their bigotry . Republicans are the worst of us .

    May 12, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Hey, You lost.. it's you who is out of touch

    Santorm.. the "ban condoms, no birth control, women should stay at home" dude, is saying that it is Obama who is out of touch? Blaa haaa haa haaa.....

    May 12, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. TexaSAM

    Rick Santorum lost the Republican nonimation tour because of his anti-women religious beliefs. He wants to take America back to an Old Testiment-like world. Women have worked too hard to gain basic civil rights, for us and our daughters. Black Americans fought bigotry and won their right to vote, but are still working to be treated equally under the law. Repubs can try to use the old divide and conquor technique, but it will fail in the end for the simple reason that they are on the wrong side of the issue. I will not tolerate bigotry towards glbt American citizens. They are not a tool to be used in a bid to represent ALL American citizens as POTUS. We need to move forward as a country, not backwards. Let the old bullies like Santorum and Romney grow old and die kicking and screaming about their lost right to do harm to others. Soon, the old bigots will be gone and America will be a much better place.

    May 12, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. Mike in Texas

    Social conservatives and blacks are the main group of people who oppose gay marriage. Social conservatives are not going to vote for Obama anyways and blacks are not going to vote for Romney.

    In fact, gay issues came near the bottom of issues that are most important to voters. If Romney goes the route Santorum suggests Obama's chances of being re-elected shoot up.

    May 12, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. jungleboo

    Mitt and Rick spell trouble to me. Mitt can't remember his own vicious behavior, and Santorum thinks the concept of equal rights is a weapon. Let freedom ring louder than their whining voices. America will be the stronger for our show of strength now.

    May 12, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. steve b

    Santorum continues to be right wing stupid. The economy, the economy, the economy, this is where the focus needs to be not some social issue. Mitt can win if he stays focused on energy, jobs and the economy. Arguing about who sleeps with who gives Obama 4 more years.

    May 12, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  14. The Alberta Advantage

    As an Albertan watching your election from the best economy in the World, I suggest you focus on universal health care and the economy. Gay marriage is a polorizing issue that will only divide. There is a time and a place for this issue, but now is not the time. Deciding who is the best candidiate to rebuild your once great Nation should be front and centre!!

    May 12, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. John John

    As usual, everything is a weapon to the GOP. How about they try to make things better for the people for a change? Why is it always about power to them? Here are a few hints Mittens; 1) NOBODY making 2 million a year is a "small business". The average small business makes less than 100k a year. 2) Gay marriage makes sense to help straighten out the legal system a bit. It is NOT a religious issue. 3) Nobody believes the auto bailout was your idea now that it worked, please quit lying. 4) Blaming Bush's deficit on Obama will come back to hurt you during the final election. I seriously doubt you will get more that 15 electoral votes. Everyone that researches it can see where the money was spent... wars and tax breaks for your rich buddies.

    May 12, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. Debasser

    These are all distractions to real problems that face this country

    May 12, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. BD

    yay for bigotry

    May 12, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Guest

    Santorum is right. Obama has no ethics or morals. He will pander to whomever can give him the vote. Romney needs to stand for what this country is supposed to be about – convictions and values that this country was built upon. Not bowing down to whatever vocal minority raises it's ugly head.

    May 12, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. just a question?

    I'm undecided on gay marriage issues and not an avid follower of politics but i have a question. If the majority of Republican people of American voted for Mitt Romney during the primaries and supported his political views over Santorum's then how does Santorum think his views are the ones that reflect the true "values of America"

    May 12, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. chris

    Rick you're lucky that people dont harbor the same hatred towards mentally challenged people that you do towards the gay and lesbian community.....just sayin'.

    May 12, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. Matt J.

    "If peolple accept it, it must be right" - well, the fallacy of this reasoning is pretty obvious to me. Unfortunately, the fallacy is not obvious to a large percentage of the voting public, who really has been hoodwinked into believing the "gay marriage" is every bit as good as real marriage. So Santorum is the one out of touch when he calls this "the values of America".

    May 12, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. 2forbes

    Why is it that the chicken hawks love the imagery and talk of life as a war? My neighbor is a Republican an I am a Democrat.
    When we talk it is a discussion. I do not believe that I am in a life and death struggle with him and so we use rational thinking and avoid over the top commentary.
    I believe once you get past the soap box pontifications and the cable alleged news talking points Americans want good government. The Republicans have no clue what that looks like anymore.

    May 12, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. labman57

    Santorum's political ideology is largely based on fears and fantasies derived from cherry-picked anecdotal passages taken from the Bible, as he strives to push forth his socially regressive, intolerance-promoting, theocratic policies.

    May 12, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Mr. YouGuysMakeMeSick

    All of you just make me sick. I wish Santorum was our president. This country has no morals when it comes to human life. People kill around 3500 young innocent children each day which adds up to 1.3 million each year. Do people see a problem there? When a woman with a baby is murdered, it is a double murder, but when a innocent child is murdered it is not a murder? There are major moral issues in America but I believe the heart and soul of America are the people that are speaking against abortions and gay marriage. Ask any gay person and they will tell you it is their decision to be gay. If they want to go against the fundamentals of marriage then go ahead but please don't try to change the laws that will you because of your decision. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. yimmy

    Why are we allowing these nut jobs to bring their religious beliefs into a system that is supposed to separate church and state?

    May 12, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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