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. marlon

    romney should'nt take advise from losers.

    May 12, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. Jim

    Same old stuff with the GOP, the country can be fixed by changing our "Value's". (Freedom of choice)
    "My life will change for the better when people star being like me" "Values" will save our Debt crisis, "Value's will keep us safe" ..FACT "Value's will polarizes us" !!

    May 12, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. Ron

    Someone could just as easily say Santorum is "out of touch with the values of America." Polls show 51% approve President Obama's stand on gay marriage. We are obviously a divided society on many values and political issues.

    May 12, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. inadvovet

    People used to say that anyone who thought minorities and women should have equal rights (marrying someone you're not attracted to is not an equal right) were also told in their eras that they're out of touch with American values. What people like Santorum, who want Big Government to control people who don't look, think, or act like themselves, don't understand is that the most fundamental American value is a march toward freedom and the right for people to pursue their own happiness. We're talking about consenting adults being denied benefits because of who they are. Get these fake conservative / pro-big government politicians like Santorum out of the way and let us take personal responsibility for marriage.

    May 12, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  5. Moderate

    Yes, Mitt, follow all of Santorum's advice. You need to be just like the guy who couldn't hold on to his own Senate seat in his own party primary, who couldn't catch up to you in the primary races, who alienates voters with his divisive rhetoric and his extremist views against contraception, etc., etc. Santorum as a vice-presidential candidate? He'll be every bit as "helpful" to you and Sarah Palin turned out to be to John McCain. You betcha.

    May 12, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  6. kenhbradshaw

    Boy, is that the wrong message! We are in the middle of the worse recession in 80 years and Santorum wants to talk about gay marriage. I bet Romney takes the high road here. After expressing his personal beliefs about marriage, he will concentrate on the economy. This is a good example of why Santorum did not win it.

    May 12, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  7. BeakerTheGreat

    The libbie press is really trying to create a firestorm aren't they?

    May 12, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  8. Marie MD

    When you are against a part of society as much as sanatorium is I start wondering if maybe he IS gay. Then the sociorobot, who laughs at not remembering, even though all his rich prep school classmates do, how he was the leader of pinning down a gay student and cutting off his hair makes me wonder . . . . . . is he gay too? How in the world don't you remember this, which BTW, is not a prank, this bullyiing at its worst!
    In 1994, I believe that was the year, the flip flopper was for gay marriage now he isn't? This is a man who has no principles and never knows from day to day what he is going to say or believe in. It's truly scary!

    May 12, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. Rudi B.

    Santorum is a hatefall man.

    May 12, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  10. Syd

    Obama has stated he supports equal rights for all. Romney bullied kids for being gay. Go ahead, make it an issue. Please.

    May 12, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. Maggie B

    Wow, how telling that Santorum says that this issue is a "perfect weapon" for Romney. These are people's lives you're talking about, not weapons. Get in touch with PEOPLE, not just people who think the way you do.

    May 12, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. Just Me

    If Romney chooses Santorum as his vice president I will vote for him. That would be a killer ticket against Gobama Bin Biden, our celebrity president. Actually, this president should run for governor of California. He will be closer to his celeb gay friends and would not have to spend tax payer money to go to his fundraisers since his real job ever since he became a senator is campaining anyway...

    May 12, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. Kathy

    The only way Romney will be able to use this particular "weapon" is by shooting himself in the foot with it.

    May 12, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  14. Gezellig

    Mitt, Feel the power of the Dark Side. Let the Hate flow through you. Turn to the Dark Side. Together, we shall rule the universe as father and son.

    May 12, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  15. Jean, Indiana

    Well, yeah, that would be smart - taking advice from a losing candidate. Guess Santorum never figured out what sunk his ship.

    May 12, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  16. superlogi

    Stick with the economy. That is all Romney needs to defeat the buffoon. The only thing you can do with cultural and social issues is satisfy your base and give the other guy ammunition to capture some fence sitters.

    May 12, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  17. Nathan

    yes but home-schooling is right in line with American values right?

    May 12, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  18. Name john drpich

    These guys are so clueless it becomes impossible to give them my vote! Total idiots!!!

    May 12, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  19. lol

    someone tell santorum to keep his religious views in the church. politics and religion should stay separate, its too bad santorum doesnt know that.

    May 12, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  20. Ted

    Out of touch? Santorum is the one who's out of touch with the majority of the American people. America doesn't want a theocracy. The founding fathers were deists and left England to get away from government forced religion. I'm a religious person but I would never dream of imposing my values on others especially through coerced legislative means. As far as gay marriage, will two people getting married 800 miles away affect my family and I? Will it affect the price of gas or the state of our economy? I didn't think so. To each his own.

    May 12, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. ZackBauer

    What a sad little man Santorum is.

    May 12, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. works4me

    Of course use it as a weapon... still all in the name of the party. A concentrated effort to try to make President Obama fail... since Inauguration day. All along with NOTHING to help America, just rhetoric to help the Party. Nothing about helping the people.

    May 12, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  23. 30to30

    I'm expecting Santorum to either come out or get caught in a men's restroom "misunderstanding" any day now.

    May 12, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  24. Jeff

    Perhaps Rick Santorum should take another look at America, look at President Obama, then look in the mirror and reassess who is really the person out of touch with American values.

    May 12, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  25. TheDudeAbides

    Yeah, Mitt, take Santorum's advice! Do it! hahahahahahaha

    May 12, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
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