Rick Santorum is out of the Republican presidential race, but he still won’t endorse Mitt Romney as the party’s nominee — at least for the moment. Santorum’s bow-out speech was notable because he failed to even mention Romney, much less endorse him and begin the party’s rally around him into the general election.
Not one word about Romney. Not in his speech. Not in his 119-word official statement. Not on his official campaign website, where a bunch of old news is buried under the words, “Thank you.” Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley said on MSNBC Tuesday afternoon that during a conversation between the two during the day, Romney asked about an endorsement. Santorum said he is “open” to meeting.
In an email blasted out by the campaign, he even continued to triumph his victories in a longshot primary season. (In that same email, he asked supporters to contribute up to $73.10 — the campaign’s average donation — because of its debt.)
“From the start of this race I have offered a unique voice in the debate,” Santorum’s email blast read. “One that the party and the country needs to hear. I have been your voice. I have been positive. I have been willing to stand for issues that some believe are controversial and would prefer to sweep under the rug.”
And despite a slew of official endorsements over the past couple of weeks for Romney, this race won’t officially end. The other two remaining candidates, thrust into relative oblivion since this clearly became a two-man race between Romney and Santorum, will not drop out.
Gingrich made it a point to change his campaign’s website to display that he is the “last conservative standing.” He “humbly” asked Santorum’s supporters to go to his website and consider donating. (So far, it has actually appeared to work. The site is down.) Monday night, he said on Fox News that he should tattoo “All The Way To Tampa” on his forehead.
Ron Paul never really was going anywhere, and he’s still not, even with Santorum dropping out.
It wasn’t until Santorum’s waning days until many higher-ups in the Republican Party started to admit Romney would be the nominee. How long will it take these three?
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