Politics
Politics

GOP Leaders to Rick Santorum: Drop Out of Presidential Race

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Republican leaders are putting pressure on Rick Santorum to drop out of the presidential race in order to give Mitt Romney a chance to focus on defeating President Obama in November. But by all accounts Santorum does not seem inclined to help his opponent out.

The Guardian reports that Romney is ahead in the polls in Tuesday's primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C., so by the end of the night he will have more than half the delegates he needs to clinch the nomination. The GOP doesn't think Santorum can surpass him, so they would like Santorum to step aside.

"I think it's absolutely apparent that it's in the best interests of our party at this particular point to get behind the person who is obviously going to be our nominee and to begin to make the case against the president of the United States," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN.

Not so fast, said Santorum. On Monday he said he could "sneak in and have an upset" in Wisconsin.

"I'm encouraged by all of this," he said. "We've got a lot of folks seemingly getting very, very nervous two days before the Wisconsin primary."

Santorum's campaign manager said the timing of all of this is curious, considering there are several Southern primaries coming up next month, and Romney has yet to prove that he can beat anyone down South.

"The Romney campaign would love to close this out and take the ball home with them, because they know May is going to be a great month for us," Michael Biundo told The New York Times.

Conversely, Santorum faces a primary in his home state of Pennsylvania on April 24 which he admitted is "not going to be easy." A loss there could force him to drop out before those Southern primaries in May.

There is a very good chance that if Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul all remain in the race (as they seem inclined to do), they could collect enough delegates to deny Romney the nomination, leading to the most interesting convention in decades.