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. stvnkrs10

    its sad how throughout history religion holds us back from advancing as a society.

    May 12, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. EdSantaFe

    Santorum can go fly.... it's a STATES RIGHTS ISSUE so it doesn't make any difference what the president thinks.

    May 12, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. joe

    Yes, PLEASE take campaign advice from Rick Santorum! Obama/Biden 2012!

    Gay marriage passage is demographically inevitable. Young tolerant people grow up to vote and old people die.

    May 12, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Kate

    How can Santorum say that Obama is out of touch with American values when, according to statistical information provided by CNN on this same website, only 48% of Americans are against gay marriage? To me that sounds like Obama is pretty in touch with American Values; agreeing with the majority of the country doesn't seem out of touch.

    May 12, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. buckbundy

    Santorum to Romney: "Run on bigotry – stay in touch with the values of America"
    I'm not sure if that's a great advice, as it is hopefully not true, but that's the advice in other words.

    May 12, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. Norm

    This is why Ricky had to tuck his tail between his legs and crawl off the election stage.
    Obviously he still doesn't get it.
    The people aren't interested in his his cultural engineering....there are real issues in this country that need to be solved.
    The wealthy GOP will never connect with real Americans. All they care about is reforming America to their religious views. The American Taliban and their own special brand of Sharia Law.

    May 12, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. Chuck Jasper, Ga.

    Go ahead Romney. Follow his advice. While you are at it, you might want to re-iterate your position on Freedom of Choice. You also should explain how the funds in off-shore banks, are only in off shore banks because of the lower tax rates in those countries. It's only good "business" to use every available resource to limit how much in taxes a person pays.

    May 12, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. rosethornne

    Sanctimonious needs to just go froth himself, and shut up. This is not 1950.

    May 12, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. AmericanSam

    It will backfire on them.

    May 12, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. Juanita

    Isn't Santorum the loser man? Didn't Americans think he was a jerk ad out of touch on most issues, including this one?
    Why would Romney pay any attention to anything this whacko fundamentalist says? And why is he still in the news? Go away, shoo, pest.

    May 12, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  11. Donkey Party

    Santorum says, "the President is out of touch with American values". New national polls show the opposite to be true, so either Santorum is ignorant, or he's lying (the latter of which would explain his support of Romney, the serial liar).

    May 12, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  12. Bill

    He's clearly not on Romney's team...he's still out there in right field with the Teavangelicals which is where he'll likely remain.

    May 12, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  13. WeNEED-JOBS

    I think he has a valid point. People are suffering in this country because of clinton,bush, Obama POINT IT OUT. They love to wast time on secondary issues POINT IT OUT.

    May 12, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  14. digitalclips

    Of course, Santorum is so 'in touch' with American society ... ROFL

    May 12, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Doc

    Are these idiots so intent to throw the election away over social issues?! Our country is on the verge of total economic collapse, terrorism, war...and their focus is on consenting adults?!! Obama is going to destroy this country if he isn't voted out...Romney better get his act together and go after the serious national and international problems at hand!!

    May 12, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. digitalclips

    Of course ... Santorum is so 'in touch' with American society! ROFL

    May 12, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. Jay North

    How strange is this.....a "Christian" wanting to discriminate against a group of folks. Do you think Christ would take this approach? Good thing Jesus is not around to see what these ppl do in his name!

    May 12, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. WILSON OCHOKO

    Santorum is a sore loser. H e has nothing new to offer.

    May 12, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  19. J.R. Skene

    His values are the most important thing? This is what is wrong with the GOP. They are the ones out of touch with American values. People want you to stay out of their private lives and for you to do the job in foreign policy, economic problems, and any number of other important issues- and to not care about who marries or who loves who. Get a grip, Sen. Santorum because you've obviously lost what is left of your narrow mind.

    May 12, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. Dante

    When will people realize that these religious zealots fly in the face of the founding fathers' intentions of keeping distance between church and state. Gays can get married in sympathizing churches but some states still won't allow them legal rights. The fight here is about legal rights on the law books. So, the real issue is religion with these tyrants. Freedom is for every human and the pursuit of happiness is the American dream. Why is it that these right wing people want to dictate the lives of others? Romney's religion believes that magic temple garments are blessed by God and Santorum is just a Sunday school holdover that never thought passed his bible. Wake up people! These are the folks that will take us down and roll back progress.

    May 12, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. worktolive

    I agree with Santorum. Romney needs to stand up and be honest-not try to appease gay voters. This will be a real test for Romney-how truthful will he be if he wins in 2012.

    May 12, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. DJ137

    Santorum is an idiot.

    Romney has to focus on the ECONOMY.

    On the fact this country is going in the WRONG DIRECTION.

    On the fact that we have a screwed up foreign policy that has cost
    the U.S. trillions and thousands of lives and will change nothing
    as of the day we leave Iraq.

    Most of the American people care about jobs, about their future, and about their kids' future.

    On having a job and living in a solvent country.

    EVERY candidate should be focused on how to fix that.

    The fact that Obama is focused on so many other things show he does not know how to
    fix what is most important to all Americans.

    May 12, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  23. Joe

    Family values must be protected at all costs.

    May 12, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. Just Gonna Say It

    Gawd, frick and frack are at it again. Santorum is out because of his sick kid, Romney will be out next because of his sick wife....this is what happens when you spew too much hate and negative energy around. I can't stand hypocritical people who try and impose their "moral" values and beliefs upon others when they are doing dirt behind closed doors.

    May 12, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  25. AShaikh

    Great suggestion Rick!! Thanks for helping Obama divert attention from economy.

    May 12, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
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