Politics

Rick Santorum Holds Nose, Endorses Mitt Romney for President

| by Michael Allen

After claiming numerous times that Mitt Romney could not beat President Obama, Rick Santorum has endorsed Romney, who once accused Santorum of "dirty tricks."

Santorum, who claimed that God told him to run for president, once called Romney “the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.”

Santorum’s email endorsement came almost a month after he dropped out of the presidential race and included disclaimers: “I felt that it was completely impossible for me to even consider an endorsement until after a meeting to discuss issues critical to those of us who often feel our voices are not heard by the establishment: social conservatives, Tea Party supporters, lower- and middle-income working families.”

"The primary campaign certainly made it clear that Governor Romney and I have some differences.” He also noted disagreements about economic policy and said he “had concerns about Governor Romney making a case as a candidate about fighting against Obamacare.”

Santorum said he was moved to back Romney after a “candid, collegial” meeting in Pittsburgh that lasted more than an hour: “There are many significant areas in which we agree. The need for lower taxes, smaller government, and a reduction in out-of-control spending. We certainly agree that abortion is wrong and marriage should be between one man and one woman. I am also comfortable with Governor Romney on foreign policy matters, and we share the belief that we can never allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons.”

“Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated. The task will not be easy. It will require all hands on deck if our nominee is to be victorious. Governor Romney will be that nominee, and he has my endorsement and support to win this, the most critical election of our lifetime.”

Santorum added that “I look forward to working together to defeat President Obama” but did not indicate plans to campaign alongside Romney.

The Romney campaign on Tuesday morning had not yet released a statement about Santorum’s endorsement.