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. Tammy

    I was starting to pay attention to Rick Santorum, too bad he dropped out. I really believe that he could've made a difference..... I helped vote President Obama into office the last election, I believe that he's gotten a really bad rap during his time as president, moving forward I DON'T believe he's the man to lead America, but then I also don't like Mitt Romney, now I have to see who the lesser of the two evils are. IF Rick Santorum is selected as VP, I'll most likely vote Romeny, if not then it's so far up in the air that I don't know what I'll do....

    May 12, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  2. Kenny

    Rick Sanctorum is an idiot. This is absolutely a state and local issue, yet he wants Romney to chime in on it in the presidential race. This from the guy who calls himself a true conservative.

    May 12, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  3. Bob

    Santorum is one sick dude.

    May 12, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  4. MaryAngeline

    Pope Santorum is the one who is out of touch. Neither he or Mitt the Spineless will ever be POTUS.

    May 12, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. Dennis

    Yes,this is just what America needs,a fast talking,subject changing,answer evading egotistical multi-millionaire willing to turn this country upside down in favor of the wealthy at the expense of the poor and most needy in this country and a little choir boy who thinks he knows how everybody should lead their lives because he lives his in such a way.This country is not a bank or business,or a church,and should not be run in these ways.

    May 12, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Please listen to mr man on dog . He will help you win the election.:)

    May 12, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. Cynthia L.

    This coming from a man who gave is youngest daughter, Bella, a lifetime membership to the NRA. Little girl has just had her 4th birthday, did he give her an AK-47, too?? How about that Trayon Martin target to go with it?? Or, a picture of two gay people holding hands??
    So much for values, Rick. Pro-life?? Ya, right. Got it. What other hateful things go into those bedtime stories?

    May 12, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  8. whitmanguy

    Santorum to Romney:"Get your mind in the gutter, Mittens. There's votes there. "

    May 12, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  9. TomGI

    "a vast majority"

    That's bull s*#t. Actually a slim majority approve or don't care. Santorum still trying to invent statistics. If Romney listens to Santorum he will be marginalized and lose any chance.

    May 12, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. Milky Pirate

    If this isn't the pot calling the kettle black! If Santorum is so "in touch" with voters then why isn't he still in the race?

    Romney doesn't want to "weaponize" (a horrible choice of words by the way) this issue because he knows it will blow up in his face.

    This is a dead issue, people are worried about actual problems right now not trumped-up psuedo issues like gay marriage.

    May 12, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. reality check

    Dick Cheney said the EXACTLY the same thing as Obama, but years earlier. Here is the video link: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/05/video-of-the-day-dick-cheney-endorsing-gay-marriage-in-2009/256961/

    May 12, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. captain barbel

    take advice from a loser? uh uh. happy retirement Mr Sanitarium.

    May 12, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  13. billythebigbone

    you call it a weapon I call it discrimination

    May 12, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. Milky Pirate

    If this isn't the pot calling the kettle b lack! If Santorum is so "in touch" with voters then why isn't he still in the race?

    Romney doesn't want to "weaponize" (a horrible choice of words by the way) this issue because he knows it will blow up in his face.

    This is a dead issue, people are worried about actual problems right now not trumped-up psuedo issues like gay marriage.

    May 12, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  15. Mark

    The person out of touch is Rick. He's got his blinders on so tightly he can't see the forest for the trees.

    May 12, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  16. Milky Pirate

    If Santorum is so "in touch" with voters then why isn't he still in the race?

    Romney doesn't want to "weaponize" (a horrible choice of words by the way) this issue because he knows it will blow up in his face.

    This is a dead issue, people are worried about actual problems right now not trumped-up psuedo issues like gay marriage.

    May 12, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  17. topaz99

    Santorum is the one who is out of touch.

    May 12, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. Ronnie

    When did morality become political. Get outta my life. Handle this country finances and job market. Fry the fish that need fryin and let me go to the kitchen with whoever I want.

    May 12, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Saboth

    Bigotry and hatred is not a "value". Keep church out of government. Everyone deserves equal rights.

    May 12, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. SnotNose

    I really wish Rick would shut up - he is the one out of touch. Adopting Rick's views will only further alienate moderate voters - and without the moderates, game is over for Mitt.

    May 12, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. nolimits3333

    Romney and Santorum should get married.

    May 12, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  22. tashable

    Mr. Santorum,
    Please be quiet. Thanks in advance.
    -America

    May 12, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  23. awasis666

    All hail Inquisitor Rick Santorum, the moral savior of this country.

    May 12, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  24. mattski

    Yeah let's turn the conversation to social issues. That's a real winning topic for the GOP this time around. Seriously Rick?

    May 12, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  25. sparknut

    How about if the GOP supports the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans, even those who happen to be gay? That would be the American thing to do.

    May 12, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
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