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 ClintonJohn Oliver blasts criticism of late night jokes: 'Go f--- yourself Jay Leno' Pelosi has won — and she's now the only one able to secure the border Monica Lewinsky explains why she never changed her name MORE, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOn The Money: Trump presses GM, union to start talks over closed plant | Trump renews call to cut arts, PBS funding | Alan Krueger, former Obama economic adviser, dies at 58 | Americans expected to bet .5B on March Madness Obama reminisces about visit to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day: 'It'll always be O'Bama' Klobuchar on Trump's rhetoric and hate crimes: 'At the very least, he is dividing people' MORE, Jimmy Carter," he listed. "When they pick [failed Democratic presidential nominees] John KerryJohn Forbes KerryBeto is the poor man's Obama — Dems can do better Joe Biden could be a great president, but can he win? Overly aggressive response to Omar's comments reflects distorted priorities in America MORE or Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreFox News signs former DNC chair Donna Brazile as a contributor Lieberman: Democratic Party is not anti-Jewish, but some members say anti-Semitic things Joe Biden could be a great president, but can he win? MORE or Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all O'Rourke faces sharp backlash from left Dem strategist says South Carolina will be first 'real test' for O'Rourke 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 BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBiden weighing an early announcement of running mate: report Poll: Biden leads among millennial voters O'Rourke faces sharp backlash from left 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 SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWarren calls for abolishing Electoral College Biden weighing an early announcement of running mate: report Poll: Biden leads among millennial voters MORE (I-Vt.), have indicated that they will announce in the next few months whether they will run.

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerBooker, Gabbard to make appearances with Colbert The Hill's 12:30 Report: Cohen back on the hot seat The Hill's Morning Report - Citing probes, Trump says 2020 race has begun 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.