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 ClintonWill the ‘law and order’ president pardon Roger Stone? Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden The sad spectacle of Trump’s enablers MORE, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHarris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden Valerie Jarrett: ‘Democracy depends upon having law enforcement’ MORE, Jimmy Carter,” he listed. “When they pick [failed Democratic presidential nominees] John KerryJohn Forbes KerryThe Memo: Trump’s troubles deepen as voters see country on wrong path The continuous whipsawing of climate change policy Budowsky: United Democrats and Biden’s New Deal MORE or Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreCNN coronavirus town hall to feature science author David Quammen, ‘Empire’ actress Taraji Henson Top Democratic pollster advised Biden campaign to pick Warren as VP Melania Trump to appear on CNN coronavirus town hall Thursday night MORE or Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida 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 BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook 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 Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), have indicated that they will announce in the next few months whether they will run.

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerRepublicans walk tightrope on police reform The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: National Portrait Gallery’s Kim Sajet says this era rewiring people’s relationship with culture, art; Trump’s war with Twitter heats up Cheney says Trump should stop tweeting Scarborough conspiracy 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. 

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