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 Clinton5 myths about William Barr Dems should follow Bill Clinton's lead on minimum wage hike Feehery: Current shutdown impasse is a fight over peanuts MORE, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBarack Obama wishes Michelle a happy birthday: 'You’re one of a kind' NY Times prints special section featuring women of the 116th Congress Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles MORE, Jimmy Carter," he listed. "When they pick [failed Democratic presidential nominees] John KerryJohn Forbes KerryGraham criticizes Trump canceling Pelosi trip as 'inappropriate’ Howard Dean to CNN: All Dem candidates qualified to be president except Tulsi Gabbard Not your ‘grandfather’s’ campaign: 2020 Dems look to stand out in crowded race MORE or Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreCybersecurity of our nuclear systems needs to be a top priority Dem introduces bills to eliminate Electoral College, stop presidents from pardoning themselves Al Gore’s right about carbon capture and sequestration MORE or Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDershowitz to The Atlantic: Do not violate Constitution to safeguard it Why Joe Biden (or any moderate) cannot be nominated GOP Rep. Tom Marino resigns from Congress 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 BidenLosing the fight against corruption and narco-trafficking in Guatemala Group aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Why Joe Biden (or any moderate) cannot be nominated 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) SandersWomen's March plans 'Medicare for All' day of lobbying in DC Group aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Why Joe Biden (or any moderate) cannot be nominated MORE (I-Vt.), have indicated that they will announce in the next few months whether they will run.

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerOn The Money: Trump says he won't declare emergency 'so fast' | Shutdown poised to become longest in history | Congress approves back pay for workers | More federal unions sue over shutdown Overnight Energy: House votes to reopen Interior, EPA | Dems question EPA over Wheeler confirmation prep | Virginia Dem backs Green New Deal House votes to reopen Interior, EPA as shutdown fight wages on 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.