Santorum: Dems have a chance in 2020 if they pick someone ‘unexpected’

Former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) on Sunday said he believes the Democratic Party could win in 2020 if they pick someone "unexpected" as their party's presidential nominee.

Santorum, asked if there were any potential Democratic candidates he was afraid of, pointed to previous presidential contests, saying all of the Democratic candidates who won were "not the favorite" at the time. 

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"When the Democrats win, they pick someone unexpected or someone who’s not the favorite," Santorum, a CNN analyst, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"[Former Presidents] Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBarr says he's working to protect presidency, not Trump Lightfoot takes office as Chicago's first black woman mayor De Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' MORE, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFeehery: A whole new season of 'Game of Thrones' Mercury rollback is a direct threat to our children's health Lightfoot takes office as Chicago's first black woman mayor MORE, Jimmy Carter," he listed. "When they pick [failed Democratic presidential nominees] John KerryJohn Forbes KerryDem Sen. Markey faces potential primary challenge in Massachusetts Judd Gregg: The dangers of the Bolton Doctrine Rubio asks Barr to investigate Kerry over Iran meetings MORE or Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreSeveral factors have hindered 'next up' presidential candidates in recent years Montana Gov. Bullock enters presidential race Bullock hires senior staffers ahead of likely presidential run MORE or Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection What the Mueller report tells us about Putin, Russia and Trump's election Steve Bullock puts Citizens United decision at center of presidential push MORE, they lose." 

"And so I’m hoping for Bernie [Sanders] or Elizabeth [Warren] or somebody like that," he said. "Someone tired, old — [former] Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget The Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection Trump: Foreign countries want Biden in office so they can continue 'ripping off' the US MORE." 

"Put them out there, we’ll win," Santorum concluded. "If they pick someone new, then I think they have a chance."

The Democratic presidential primary is expected to be crowded, with dozens of contenders eyeing a bid. Multiple Democrats who have lost previous presidential runs, including Biden and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection California Democrats face crisis of credibility after lawsuits Fox's Brit Hume fires back at Trump's criticism of the channel MORE (I-Vt.), have indicated that they will announce in the next few months whether they will run.

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Alabama abortion bill revives national debate GOP lawmaker on China trade war: 'It's not great for farmers' Thirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill MORE (R-Ill.) on the "State of the Union" panel said that he believes Biden would be a "tough" candidate because of his legacy of centrism.

"The thing I think with the Democratic Party in 2020 is they’re going to end up with a far-left candidate," Kinzinger said, naming Sanders as someone he considers far-left. Sanders is a self-defined democratic socialist. 

"If it was a centrist party, I think they’d put somebody up like Joe Biden and unlike Sen. Santorum, I actually think Biden would be a really tough candidate," Kinzinger added.

Biden and Sanders have not yet said whether they are running.