Tony Perkins: Social conservatives' emphasis now on taking Senate, not helping Romney
April 10th, 2012
05:12 PM ET
11 years ago

Tony Perkins: Social conservatives' emphasis now on taking Senate, not helping Romney

Washington (CNN) – The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, a leading social conservative, tells CNN that conservative activists are so unenthusiastic about Mitt Romney, many are likely to turn their grass roots efforts away from the presidential race and towards Congress – specifically, putting the Senate in Republican hands.

"It's difficult for us to back a candidate our constituents don't believe in and aren't excited about," Perkins said in a telephone interview, speaking about Romney.

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In January, leading conservative activists met in Texas and decided to rally around Rick Santorum as their GOP candidate for president.

Perkins said in recent weeks, as it has become clear Santorum had an uphill fight, he has talked to several social conservatives about "what people would do if it came down to having an option who doesn't excite us," meaning Romney.

Perkins said the consensus was to turn their "emphasis" to campaigns for Congress rather than campaigning for Romney.

As for Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul each saying they now intend to be the conservative alternative to Romney, Perkins said he believes both will pick up some Santorum supporters, but he also underscored that Santorum had a different kind of appeal to social conservatives than anyone else in the race.

Also see:

Poll: Nearly three-quarters of Republicans see Romney as nominee

Romney: I speak with Gingrich more than Santorum

Romney campaign pulls negative ad while Santorum halts campaigning

Filed under: 2012 • Family Research Council • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum • Senate • Tony Perkins
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Jack

    Can't say I'm too torn up about this.

    April 10, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. rs

    Republicans would do well to stop listening to these kooks and signing their pledges. If they are in elected office, they work for ALL of the people of the United States, not these fringe crazies.

    April 10, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. Shann

    Sometimes, people who claim to be Christians are the worst at judging others. Christians love those who go to their congregation – and sometimes that is a stretch. Hypocrites really! Do you really know what it means to be a Christain?? Or are you like the Whited tomb stones that Christ tallks about. White and clean on the outside but inward are full of rotting bones. It seems Christians need to follow their own book!

    April 10, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. Jerubbaal

    Many southern social conservatives simply are not going to vote for a Mormon. No amount of Koch and Rove money can change this. If the repub base doesn't come out in force Romney is toast. He won't be able to buy the general election like he did the primary as well having the anti Romney vote split by 2 opponents. The Prez has the money and organization to match so no more built in advantages.

    April 10, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. No Way I'll Vote for Romney


    April 10, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  6. Anomic Office Drone

    Social conservatives who want the rest of us to live by what they consider to be moral can take a long walk off a short pier.

    April 10, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    Romney lies. We all know that nobody likes bishop lier romney. Gopt will be defeated come november. Obama / biden 2012. The only trusted way forward

    April 10, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
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