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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Follow Jim Acosta on Twitter: @jimacostacnn

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. Mathew R

    Essentially he's going to harp on the existing ignornace and fear and fan the flames of hate. How republican.

    May 12, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. colleenkelley

    I'm sorry, but if anybody's out of touch, it's Santorum. What planet does that guy live on?

    May 12, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. eroteme

    Santorum, you lost. Get out of the picture. Your 'advice' for Romney has no value. Romney tromped you. His ideas win your ideas lose.

    May 12, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. kevin

    Sounds more to me like santorum is the one out of touch. The fastest growing majority of americans are the non-religious.Keep the church out of politics, please.

    May 12, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. captbeefheart

    Rick has no place telling us our president is very much "out of touch with the values of America" when he is so much out of touch with reality. He's a very scary man.

    May 12, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Sarah Grace

    Out of touch? Idiot doesn't speak for the census...I guess that that maybe one of the reason's he lost big time, he's out of touch from the human race.

    May 12, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. jay

    No. The economy is the issue not gay marriage. No one cares about marriage. Jobs and underemployment at 18% are important. Step aside Santorum You lost !

    May 12, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. blackrobe

    And THAT is why Santorum will be a laughable footnote in American politics. -

    Equal rights are never a "weapon" - they're 'rights'

    May 12, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. DeMouk

    Mitt would best be served by avoiding social issues in an economy this bad if he really wants to be POTUS. Republicans shoot themselves in the foot on this all the time. Stop trying to legislate morality. Please.

    May 12, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. The Great Divide

    Who cares about SSM? They will still be gay. It's like winning a lottery after learning you have cancer.

    May 12, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  11. brsln

    Gee, leave it up to Santorum, who never misses an opportunity to cloak his bigotry behind his all-too-convenient religion, to dredge up hatred and discrimination.

    May 12, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  12. steve

    Yes, because Santorum did so well following his own strategy.

    May 12, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. Stephen Howard

    American politicians are wholly out of touch with American values. Remember that freedom thing? Why was gay marriage ever a debate? To Mr. Santorum, Mr. Romney, Christian/Republican world, even if you don't personally participate in gay marriage don't you participate in freedom and democracy? Let people be who they are. Oppressors are not remember well. Religious and social tyranny is tyranny all the same.

    May 12, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. Choomba Jim

    wait wait wait wait...whose the one who is out of touch? Twit.

    May 12, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  15. Willyboy

    willyboy to santorum: use broken-bottle as anal probe You quit the race, jerk, sit down (on the bottle) and STFU.

    May 12, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  16. bmw678

    I think that Santorum so out of touch with America and real world. Point in case he prefers to home school his children, he just needs to wait when one of his own kids will come out of closet, that will be a moment when he will face the reality.

    May 12, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  17. Tom

    Santorum you need to STFU and let Romney run his own damn campaign. You lost. You're out of touch. You don't believe in Evolution or Climate Change. You believe we actually came from Adam and Eve. You brought home your dead baby Gabriel to show your kids they had a brother. Now go away, no one is interested in your opinion. You are inept and a moron.

    May 12, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. Killdeer

    Ricky, you are the one that is out of touch...and always were

    May 12, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  19. Marty

    It should absolutely be used. The pervs use it as a weapon against normal people to promote their twisted agenda.

    May 12, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  20. MW

    The Republicans and particularly Santorum are the ones out of touch with American values.

    May 12, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  21. Copper's Donut Shoppe

    "Benton County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner "

    The present day repugs have no resemblance to the compassion of Lincoln. He freed people of color, he did not create poll laws that disenfranchised them. He helped people not raided the poor to give to the rich.
    sanatorium speaks of "potent weapon" to use against others while Jesus spoke of compassion.
    Present day christianity has devolved into a guttural religion ~ one that would make Jesus.

    Are forced conversions what the reborns have on the upcoming agenda? Bend the knee or suffer the inquisition.

    May 12, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. Norm

    Let's ask Ricky to be honest and tell us what he really thinks about the Mormon religion.

    May 12, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  23. politicallyinsurrect

    Yes, let's defend traditional marriage. Any women who has an affair or gets pregnant out of wedlock should be stoned to death. That sounds like the rational way.

    May 12, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  24. Bill Z.

    Great let us focus on this issue.........When these two : one Hypocrite the other one a Religious nut agree and we listen then this country has really gone to the dogs and is heading us back 50 years.....Yet the GOP is ahead in the Polls.
    As a 60 year old guy I am glad I am on my way out .....What a Mess !!!

    May 12, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. betelmann

    Inside his conservative bubble, Santorum does not realize that it's he that is out of step with this nation's evolving social ethos. I hope Romney takes the advice - standing against the tide of history is just what I hope the GOP continues to do.

    May 12, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25