Santorum defends 2008 Romney endorsement
January 1st, 2012
02:03 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum defends 2008 Romney endorsement

(CNN) - Republican White House hopeful Rick Santorum faced questions Sunday about his endorsement of Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential bid and said he only supported the former Massachusetts governor in hopes of keeping Sen. John McCain from winning the nomination.

"I made the political judgment, right or wrong," the former Pennsylvania senator said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I did not think [McCain] was the right person, based on my experience and deep knowledge of his record, that he was the right person to be the nominee."

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Santorum said he wished fellow social conservative and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had been farther ahead in the race at the time he made his endorsement, which came just days before Super Tuesday in early February 2008.

Romney ended his campaign soon after that, following losses in key states such as Florida and California.

But Santorum argued his backing of Romney had less to do with Romney's credentials and more to do with his opponent.

"I was saying it relative to John McCain," Santorum said. "Remember it's not like I was an early supporter of Romney. I endorsed him seven days before he dropped out of the race."

Santorum now finds himself vying for the top tier in the race to win the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday. According to a new Des Moines Register poll conducted between Tuesday and Friday, Santorum took third place behind Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul. But when considering only the final two days of polling - Thursday and Friday - Santorum took second behind Romney.

Also see:

Poll: It's still Romney vs. Paul in Iowa


Marathon man Santorum in a final sprint to the finish line


Gingrich's 'great experiment'


Santorum's closing argument on Iowa TV


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I have a feeling that there will be a LOT of kissy-kissy making up after all of this is over. That's politics folks...you say what you think you need to say at that time to win. In this age of the internet and 24/7 news that will come back to haunt you though before it's over.

    January 1, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Car ful of Clowns !

    January 1, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |