Santorum splits with Palin on his pick in Arizona Senate primary
August 3rd, 2012
10:50 AM ET
2 years ago

Santorum splits with Palin on his pick in Arizona Senate primary

(CNN) – Rick Santorum on Friday threw his voice behind Senate hopeful Wil Cardon in Arizona, who's running in heated primary to replace retiring Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, the Senate minority whip.

"Wil is exactly what Washington, DC needs – an outsider beholden to no one other than the Arizona residents he hopes to represent," Santorum said. "We look forward to helping him become not only the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, but Arizona's next U.S. Senator."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

The 2012 GOP contender made his endorsement in a statement released by his advocacy group Patriot Voices, which raises awareness for conservative causes and candidates.

Santorum's support puts him on the other side of fellow conservative Sarah Palin, who endorsed Cardon's main opponent and the frontrunner in the race, Rep. Jeff Flake.

A political newcomer, Cardon has not previously held public office and runs his family's real estate investment firm, the Cardon Group. He's taken in a considerable amount of money this cycle, about $8.2 million, but about 90% of his campaign war chest comes from his own pocket, according to reports with the Federal Election Commission.

Flake, a six-term congressman, has raised $4.9 million, without lending any money to his campaign. He also has the support of both Kyl and Arizona's senior senator, John McCain. Flake, known as a maverick, was a major backer of McCain early on in the senator's 2008 presidential bid.

Cardon and Flake will face off in the state's primary on Aug. 28. The winner of which will challenge Democratic candidate Richard Carmona, who faces an uphill battle in a Senate race rated as "likely Republican" or "leaning Republican" by political handicappers Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg.

Santorum and Palin, former Alaska governor and McCain's 2008 running mate, have used their star power in several GOP Senate primaries this cycle–but they haven't always agreed on their choices.

While both successfully supported Ted Cruz in the Texas runoff last month against Lt. Gov David Dewhurst, as well as Richard Mourdock in his challenge against veteran incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar in Indiana, the two conservatives found themselves backing opposing candidates in Utah and Nebraska.

Santorum, former two-term Pennsylvania senator, endorsed former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, the underdog who ultimately lost in his challenge against longtime Sen. Orrin Hatch in Utah. Palin, breaking from her pattern, supported the incumbent senator, saying Hatch was part of the "one percent of national politicians" who she thought deserved re-election.

Santorum also unsuccessfully backed state Attorney General John Bruning, seen as the establishment candidate, in the Nebraska GOP primary. Meanwhile, Palin supported state Sen. Deb Fischer, who pulled a surprising upset on election night in May for the nomination.


Filed under: 2012 • Arizona • Rick Santorum • Sarah Palin • Senate
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Logic N LA

    So tell me again- which one has the white hood and carries a Bible everywhere? Anyone backed by either of those people is not good for this country.

    August 3, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Bill from GA

    Gee, can we get Trump's view on the matter now??

    August 3, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    How is it that Mittens get $100 million from Adelson, who in turn made that money from Chinese Communists, and there is no outrage from the baggers? Right wingnuts must know that Sen. McCarthy is rolling over in his grave.

    August 3, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    "Wil is exactly what Washington, DC needs – an outsider beholden to no one other than the Arizona residents he hopes to represent," Santorum said.
    ------------------–
    That's an outright lie, Rick, and you know it. He will be beholden to Grover Norquist once he signs that tax pledge.
    "Nice try, but we gotcha."

    August 3, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Larry L

    Funny how endorsements from former losers mean something to modern Republicans. You folks rejected these people as possible leaders but then value their selection of other candidates? Both consider contraception "evil" and think the earth is less than 6000 years old. Wouldn't that tell you something?

    August 3, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. B.

    Santorum and Palin, two of a kind! Both good for nothing but hyperbolic BS..

    All that I can say is, thank God McCain didn’t win !

    August 3, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    The pope must have picked the religious freeks in the Gop bafoon party !!!

    August 3, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. T'sah From Virginia

    This is bad – picking people to win and when they get to Congress or the Senate, they do NOTHING!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    August 3, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. Nick

    WHY are either of these full-time looney tunes still in the news?

    August 3, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. A Kickin` Donkey

    If Republicans believe in a MERITOCRACY so much, why do Palin & Santorum – - TWO FAILURES – - continue to have influence & sway with the Republicans in this country?

    August 3, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Duke One

    TEA over the establishment any time of day !!!

    August 3, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. REG in AZ

    Contrary to what Santorum says, Will Cardon is totally beholden to "the money" who is supporting him, those who are paying for all of his abundant ads. That sure isn't the Arizona constituents.

    August 3, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. drake mallard

    Rick Santorum is the anti-gay, anti-abortion anti-womyn, anti-science. Who is running on these social issues. Never mind health reform or jobs. Or anything important or non-discriminatory, for that matter. He does not understand that there is a Separation of church and state.the federal endorsement of a deity or religion violates the united states constitution

    Rick Santorum=the United States is a non-smoking nation! , no drugs, no alcohol, no women – unless you're married – no foul language, no red meat!

    August 3, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |