Santorum: Marriage a 'potent weapon'

Former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is urging likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney to seize on the gay marriage issue.

So far Romney has tried to turn the campaign conversation back to the economy, which the GOP views as a strong suit.

Santorum told an Arkansas television audience that he begs to differ.

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President Obama has handed Romney a “potent weapon” heading into the November elections by declaring that he support same sex marriage, he argued.

“I think what you see is his is a very potent weapon if you will for Gov. Romney if he is 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 interview with KARK-TV.

The former Pennsylvania senator, whose social values-driven campaign at one point put him in the lead for the GOP nomination, urged Romney to stick to his guns. During the primary campaign that essentially ended last month, Santorum had raised questions about Romney changing his positions.

“Hopefully Gov. Romney will continue to stand tall for his position on this issue and understanding for how detrimental this would be for society to have this changed,” Santorum said.

Santorum noted that gay marriage has been defeated in ballot initiatives in relatively liberal states like California and Maine.

“In every state where there has been a race about same sex marriage, traditional marriage has won and won actually by pretty comfortable numbers,” he said.

Santorum was in Arkansas campaigning for Romney. He declined to say in the interview whether he would ever accept a vice presidential offer from the former Massachusetts governor.