John McCain: Rick Santorum's Campaign is Irrelevant

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The 2008 Republican presidential nominee told CNN's Soledad O'Brien that he thinks the results of last Tuesday's primary rendered Rick Santorum's campaign essentially "irrelevant."

Senator John McCain, a notable Mitt Romney endorser and vocal opponent of this year’s extended primary process, insisted that Rick Santorum’s candidacy no longer has any bearing on the presidential race. McCain said that Romney needs to pivot now, and focus his attention on the general election against President Barack Obama.

"Whether Rick Santorum stays in or not, is now basically irrelevant and Mitt has a lot of ground to make up," said McCain. "I'm confident he can make it up, but every day that goes by that he's not in the general campaign is a day lost."

The ground that the Arizona senator references appears to be Romney’s soaring unfavorable ratings that many political watchers have attributed to the long, bitter primary battle. McCain seems to agree with those observers, frequently describing the 2012 GOP presidential primary as the worst he has ever observed.

Despite getting wiped out in all three primaries Tuesday, Rick Santorum once again vowed to stay in the race until the bitter end. The former Pennsylvania Senator hopes that a win in his home state will give him momentum going into the last southern primaries in May. Though he has not yet been mathematically eliminated, Rick Santorum needs to win 79% of the delegates remaining to clinch the nomination before the Republican Convention in Tampa – no small feet.

You can see Soledad O’Brien’s whole segment with Senator McCain below: