Santorum endorses one-time rival Romney

Associated Press Modified: May 8, 2012 at 12:18 am •  Published: May 7, 2012
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum urged his supporters to back fellow Republican Mitt Romney's campaign Monday in a late-night email that ignored that Santorum once calling Romney the "worst Republican in the country" during their bitter contest.

Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania and a newly minted celebrity among conservatives, said that the one-time rivals would unite to deny President Barack Obama's re-election. But in a nod that the wounds had not yet healed, he reminded his supporters of the deep differences between the two and that misgivings had not yet abated.

"The primary campaign certainly made it clear that Gov. Romney and I have some differences. But there are many significant areas in which we agree," Santorum wrote, citing common ground in economic, social and foreign policy.

He added: "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. Gov. Romney will be that nominee and he has my endorsement and support to win this the most critical election of our lifetime."

It was a sharp turnabout from what he had to say about Romney in Wisconsin: "Pick any other Republican in the country. He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama."

Romney visited Santorum for more than an hour on Friday at the Pittsburgh office of Santorum's longtime strategist. The session covered many of Santorum's concerns about Romney's campaign, especially the sincerity of his vow to repeal Democrats' national health care law that was modeled on one Romney signed into law as Massachusetts governor. Those worries, it seems, were assuaged during their private session that ended without Santorum's public backing.



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