First on CNN: Santorum to focus on GOP's future in Iowa
April 8th, 2013
03:02 PM ET
1 year ago

First on CNN: Santorum to focus on GOP's future in Iowa

(CNN) - Republicans hoping to regain the White House in 2016 would make a mistake by ignoring social issues, one of those potential candidates said Monday.

Rick Santorum, who says he's open to another White House bid and already speaks like a candidate, told CNN the GOP's focus on the economy and taxes, instead of social issues, was what led to presidential losses for the party in the last two cycles.

"That's exactly why the establishment Republicans supported Romney and McCain, because they didn't emphasize these positions, and they were going to run on one issue, which was limited government and lower taxes," Santorum said. "All of which are good things, and I support them, but I think what they showed is that they're insufficient."

And while some national Republicans say honing in on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion alienates certain demographics, Santorum argued the GOP could gain supporters by emphasizing family values.

"The issues they say need to be de-emphasized are some of the issues we can actually reach out to Latinos and engage them on when it comes to the family," Santorum said. "In the course of the campaign, I always felt the family was key."

In a speech next week to the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, Santorum will argue that Republicans should meld economic and social issues, making the case that focusing on both is critical to scoring votes. A press release says his "remarks will focus on the future of the Republican Party and what must be done to ensure our party's future viability."

"We need someone who's willing to go out and make the case for the values that made this country the greatest country in the history of the world," Santorum said. "Weave them together in a picture that makes sense, that can talk to average Americans about the policies that will make their lives better."

Whether or not he's that candidate, Santorum said it's too soon to decide – though recent trips to early voting states like Iowa and South Carolina point to presidential aspirations.

While he agrees with the Republican National Committee's recommendation that the party convention be moved earlier in the summer, Santorum said a push to condense the 2016 primary voting calendar was misguided. After all, his 2012 campaign didn't truly gain steam until he swept votes in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri all on the same day, changing the trajectory of the race.

"Certainly we want to keep our name out there, in the mix. It's something that I'm open to," he said of a run in 2016. "But obviously it's a little too soon to make any concrete decisions."

"I think we provide a very clear voice on the right answers to get this country going again, and get the party back on the victory trail," he continued.


Filed under: Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Santorum to focus on GOP's future in Iowa"

    Should be a short speech then.

    April 8, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Laserfocus

    What future? The only thing they try to implement is the year 1955.

    April 8, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    by all means Torquemada....drag your party farther to the right with your antiquated social morals. Don't be surprised when your party gets pasted again as only the sheep are interested.....some people never learn..

    April 8, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Will the GOP go for a trifecta and lose for the third straight time? Yep, if they follow Pontif Ricky.

    April 8, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. Thomas

    In a speech next week to the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, Santorum will argue that Republicans should meld economic and social issues, making the case that focusing on both is critical to scoring votes. We need someone who's willing to go out and make the case for the values that made this country the greatest country in the history of the world," Santorum said.

    ======

    First of all I would never vote for anybody who has more then three children in this day and age . Every time I see a photo of the Santorum family they look uptight and unhappy.

    Rick needs to spend more time listening to his own children's needs and less time telling others how to live .

    April 8, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. nothing new here

    You have got to be kidding me!
    The GOP has done nothing but preach family values, for years.
    THAT is what has brought a once-great political party to it's knees.
    The GOP needs to ditch people like Santorum. Santorum can go start his own political party, and take the social issues with him. Us real Americans are tired of his version of BIG government.
    Go away.

    April 8, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. ERKO

    Bahahaha .... this guy again.

    April 8, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "The GOP has done nothing but preach family values, for years.
    THAT is what has brought a once-great political party to it's knees."

    Well, that and their rampant, rabid bigotry and alienation of the minority community with crap like the "southern strategy."

    Two words for the GOP/Teatrolls: TOO. LATE.

    Enjoy your demographic armageddon. I know I will.

    April 8, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Jim Hahn

    I personally think that Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann should be the Republican ticket for 2016. That way the Republicans will ensure that the Democrats will retain the White House. You can call it the "Dumb and Dumber" ticket. Social issues and immigration issues turn off young voters, single female voters, ethnic voters, gay voters and pretty much every other voter, except for white men and their wives who do what their husbands tell them to do.

    April 8, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. carpinteyroqwv

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    April 8, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Democrats have family values, like not cutting programs that help the most vulnerable among us.

    Repubs, on the other hand, put millionaires and billionaires ahead of everyone else.

    Pretty cut and dry, if you ask me.

    April 8, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    I would like to ask Sanitorium if he still believes that people who go to college are "snobs".

    You know, college-educated people like all the doctors and researchers whose efforts have kept his daughter, Bella, alive all these years.

    April 8, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    Personally, I'm hoping Ricky will continue to run around flapping his lips. Nothing would please me more than to see the GOP split into three: 'baggers, evangelicals and .... gee, what to call them .... moderates? normals? about-to-go-extinct?

    Whatever, while they're squabbling among themselves over what they should do to convince Americans that their failed policies work, the rest of us will continue the hard work to move our country FORWARD.

    April 8, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. ghostriter

    Ummmm......BIG problem for the GOP. They don't seem to be able to accurately recall the past. They didn't shy away from social issues. They dived head 1st into the shallow end. Remember abortion? Remember immigration? Remember contraceptives?

    The establishment republicans (whoever they are) were smart in trying to run away from social issues. But that presented another issue: They only had the economy and eventually Benghazi to talk about. The economy picked up and they had to stop with the talking point of are you better off now than 4 years ago....simply because the answer for a good deal of folks was/is yes. Then, they decided to hide Romney's tax records and push forth a new budget/tax plan that no economist could rate as it was incomplete. The best speculation put the plan as improbable.

    All they had left was Benghazi. Yes, republicans also believe in not letting a perfectly good crisis go to waste.

    Why don't you guys get it? Obama beat you guys in just about every facet he could. National security, international relations, the economy, etc. His plans may have been not too great, but what the GOP offered was not palatable to a great deal of Americans.

    April 8, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    "Santorum to focus on GOP's future in Iowa"

    'Future", " Santorum", and " GOP" are all mutually exclusive concepts. I feel bad for Iowa, though.

    April 8, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. Onlooker

    People, listen, you will not live in this world forever. There will come one day when you will face the God who gave you breath. He will ask questions about your life if it matches with the word of his. Are you willing to have something like this on your resume' you are going to show him? Think, think about your eternal life. Does this line up with his desires and intentions? Really, is this really what God desires? To approve of something that he doesn't like?

    April 8, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Larry in Houston

    as far as I'm concerned, the GOP has already shot their selves in the foot , at their own C -PAC convention – the ones who would have at least been a 1/2 way good repub wasn't allowed IN – LOL – Christy / & the Gov of Va. ( McDonnell )- & I don't remember off hand , who else. I guess if you talk like you make 1/2 way sense – you aren't accepted. lol

    April 8, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Boomer in Mo

    He did not get elected pope so, once again, he is going to try to get elected Prez and make the canons of the Catholic Church the law of the land.

    April 8, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. The Republican Party is NOT dead

    I wish people would stop saying that. The President only won by 2 percent which means that we are a completely split country. The Republicans still own the House. Now as far as the Republicans being dead. I don't believe that at all. After 2004 when the Democrats lost to George W. Bush, there was talk of the Democrats going away because nobody was interested anymore. However, they came back. The Democrats also lost 3 presidencies in 1980, 1984 and 1988 and nobody was talking about their obituary. Politics is cyclical and before you know it, it is very probable that we will have another Republican President.

    April 8, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. Randy, San Francisco

    Santorum represents the Republican Party of the past with tired old messages rejected by voters. He just doesn't get it. The problem is the message and not how it is communicated. He has no place in a rebranded Republican Party.

    April 8, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |