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. onyegbu john

    president obama should rethink his stand on same- marriage.

    May 12, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. St. Xavier

    Santorum needs to just go away, him an his talking of religion, religion is a personal thing with each person an don't need to be told how to behave when it comes to religion. Santorum is fooling him self if he thinks for one second he could be president. It's never going to happen. An if ask to be VP an he excepts then what an horses behind he would be. I wanted to say the other word but horsesbehind will get the message to you.

    May 12, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. pippin

    Great, this just confirms to me what I always suspected that Santorum was a self absorbed, egotistical bigot and we can all thank God he had to drop out of the race because most of america saw this. Unfortunately for Romney he's now aligning himself with him.

    May 12, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. Phil muse

    Romney should ignore pressure from Santorum and other social conservatives to make gay marriage a major issue in his campaign. Mitt has already expressed his view that marriage should be between a man and a woman. If he's smart, he'll let it stand at that. Anything more is likely to lose him votes. Leave the dirty work to the "shock jocks" in the right-wing media. They can inflame conservatives and influence voters and not be accountable to anyone, no matter how nasty they get. Play it clean, Mitt. "Caving in" now will lose you votes.

    May 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Greg

    Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. I am appalled at the growing amount of hate being directed towards gays, especially from Republicans when several of their candidates during this and the last elections were immoral bigots – I'm trying to wrap my head around the so called "values" they are speaking of???

    May 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. maggotfist

    Santorum really,...I mean REALLY needs to come out of the closet

    May 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  7. friedhard@live.com

    Wait...who is out of touch with this country's values?

    May 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. Al

    take advantage of a president who is very much out of touch with the values of America.

    May 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. maggotfist

    Santorum = closeted

    May 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  10. It's the economy

    Nope, Stay focused on the economy.

    May 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  11. kuewa

    A former out-of-touch candidate advising the surviving out-of-touch candidate on how to campaign against a President who has been widely praised for expressing his support for legalization of gay marriage; a view which is held by a majority of the population. The Repubs are certainly a never-ended source of entertainment !

    May 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  12. ajz

    this shows how this people will do anything to get elected but once elected, they dont do crap

    wake up america!

    May 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. Dustie

    I believe that it is Santorum who is out of touch. I am planning to vote for Romney, more as a vote against Obama. However, if Romney were to take an anti-gay approach, I couldn't vote for him. I hope that Romney will show tolerance, and respect for all Americans, and allow them to have equal rights in all matters. Allowing gay marriage in no way harms marriage between a man and woman. The greatest threat to marriage and family in the US today is the garbage put out by the entertainment business and the media, and nothing to do with gays at all. Santorum is too intolerant and inflexible.

    May 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  14. Greg

    LOL...Who's out of touch?

    May 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  15. KoolMO2

    What that moron Santorum and his ilk does not get is that the very same "benevolent god" that he sooo espouses to adhere to, is reponsible for many "anomalies" and differences in us humans....among them is Trisomy 18...A GENETIC disorder....GENETIC Disorder... So then, why is it so difficult for [those] idiots to accept that 2 humans, of the same same gender, cannot be attracted to one-another, fall in love and perhaps, marry...Hmmm same benevolent god, huh??

    May 12, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  16. John Steel

    Newsflash for fecal matter boy – he represents the values of medieval Europe.

    May 12, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  17. Indy

    We all know Santorum is an expert on how great it is to stump on social views,you tell em Ricky ! Romney is a chicken that would never stick his neck out all the way like a real leader and he will flip flop all over the place on gay marriage

    May 12, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. jimatmadison

    Seriously, why don't Romney and Santorum want their fellow Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Larry Craig, Charlie Crist, Matt Drudge, Paul Babeu, and so many, many more to enjoy the same rights the rest of us have?

    Socially awkward people like Mitt Romney often think it's cool to bully and demean gays, but maybe they could show a little compassion once in a while.

    May 12, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  19. YouCantHandleTheTruth

    We sent a generation of our youth overseas to fight a tyrant that built his strength by oppressing and demonizing a minority. Now it looks like the seed of the Hitler Youth has sprouted here and wears a sweater vest instead of a brown shirt.

    May 12, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  20. RapidOne

    Leave it to Republican scuzbags to 'USE' this as a weapon. Hey guys!!! How about being leaders and governing the people for the people instead of just 'USING' each issue to draw hate-mongering, fear-mongering and anger-mongering support because you 'USED AN ISSUE AS A WEAPON' that affects U.S. citizens!!!???

    May 12, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  21. allens

    these 2 are the most mentally screwed up people i have ever seen. look at romney closely before you vote for him. he tortured a young boy and does not remember it? 99 percent of people would still feel bad about having done such a cruel thing many, many years later. but he does not remember it? then drives with his family pet ijn a carrier on the roof and did not see anythink wrong with it? from the beginning, something seemed rrally wrong with him, this just shows me my Instincts were on the money. very dangerous guy to lead this country. it does not matter if he is a member of your parety, he ain't right upstairs

    May 12, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  22. Anonymous

    please, take advice from santorum.......

    May 12, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. Bob

    Why is my comment awaiting moderation. I wrote my opinion with no crude language.

    May 12, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. jennnn10

    "...a president who is very much out of touch with the values of America,..." See, this is what GOP candidates do. Seemingly search for their own weaknesses and mistakes and accuse their opponent of the same. Is it 'opposite day' or are they really this idiotic.

    May 12, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  25. jnpa

    Values? Like attacking and bullying that kid when he was in school, or supporting gay rights in a letter he sent to the Log Cabin Club of Mass in 1994. I am sure there are other "values" we haven't discovered yet!

    May 12, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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