Long-time conservative activist Richard Viguerie suggested today that Newt Gingrich suspend his campaign and endorse Rick Santorum in order to unite conservatives against Mitt Romney.
"Looking at last night’s numbers, it has become increasing clear that the former Speaker can either be a kingmaker or a spoiler," Viguerie said in a statement today, "because, to unite conservatives, Gingrich would have to suspend his campaign and endorse Rick Santorum for the Republican nomination for President." Viguerie argued that Romney must lose the nomination in order to prevent "the debacle of four more years of an Obama presidency."
"Were Newt Gingrich to suspend his campaign now, and endorse Rick Santorum, he could provide that unity and, through such a great act of statesmanship, open a new chapter in his storied political career," Viguerie added.
Gingrich began calling for Santorum to drop out after South Carolina, when Gingrich hoped to win Florida by uniting conservatives against Romney. Gingrich has offered Santorum's resurgence as proof, however, that he might also have another chance at the nomination. "I'm taking Rick Santorum's advice," Gingrich said Sunday. "He stayed in, he was running fourth in every single primary, suddenly he very cleverly went to three states nobody else went to, and he became the media darling and bounced back."
But Viguerie believe that Santorum has earned the right to face Romney one-on-one. "Were Newt Gingrich to suspend his campaign now, and endorse Rick Santorum, he could provide that [conservative] unity and, through such a great act of statesmanship, open a new chapter in his storied political career," he said.