February 17th, 2012
04:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum picks up former Romney supporter

Washington (CNN) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine withdrew his support from Mitt Romney and endorsed Rick Santorum for president at a news conference in Columbus on Friday afternoon.

DeWine and Santorum served in the Senate together, and both lost their re-election bids in 2006, when Democrats captured both the House and Senate.

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"To be elected president you have to do more than tear down your opponent. You have to give the American people a reason, a reason to vote for you," DeWine said. "Rick Santorum has done that. Sadly, Governor Romney has not."

DeWine was originally a Tim Pawlenty supporter, but Pawlenty dropped out of the race last summer and DeWine later endorsed Romney.

On a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon, Romney supporter and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu downplayed the attorney general's decision.

"The swing of Mike DeWine from one candidate to another is not a significant thing. The most improtant thing you can get from an endorser is an organization, and as I understand it, attorney generals don't have a lot of political organization," Sununu said.

There was no phone call from DeWine to the Romney campaign.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Uh oh Willard! You've got surrogates jumping ship.

    February 17, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. callmecrazy

    Yeah right. You guys want to listen to DeWine. I don't care either way. You could put them both on one ticket and they will still loose.

    February 17, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. John

    Sounds to me like the Attorney General is very wishy washy.

    February 17, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. please!

    Chalk one up for Santorum because this is the FIRST, yes FIRST senator that he worked with for 12 YEARS in the senate to endorse him (another loser, go figure) while 18 or 19 have endorsed Romney. He probably just felt sorry for the guy because obviously no one else is backing the corrupt D.C. insider. This fact alone speaks volumes to me about Santorum.

    February 17, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. Really?

    Oh my! Tisk tisk. Poor Mittens.

    February 17, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Uh, oh. Is this how the fall of Romney begins? Is this the first lug nut to pop off one of the wheels? Could be.

    February 17, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. cali girl

    Make up your mind. I wonder if Paul started surging in the polls if he would jump ship again.

    February 17, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    DeWine is jumping all over with whom he supports. What does he value in these candidates? Why would he switch from one to the other?

    February 17, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. ST

    The man did not know where he belonged? Touching here, touching there. That is not what gentlemen do!

    February 17, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. Joey Davis

    Oh my! The good ship Inevitability just hit an iceberg in the Erie!

    February 17, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. mark

    If Santorum does win the nimination it would basically assure Obama of re-election. He is too far to the right to win convince middle of the road voters to agree with his thinking. Just like he could not win re-election in his own state, he cannot win nationally. Romney stand a better chance of defeating Obama than does Santorum.

    February 17, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Sonnie 2

    Good for Rick, He is the better MAN.

    February 17, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. Scott O' Canada

    With so many people jumping from one bandwagon to the other, surprised no one has broke an ankle.

    February 17, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. v_mag

    George W. won't be endorsing Sanctimonius anytime soon. Ricky said yesterday that he blamed Bush more for the bailout than he did Obama, and I'm sure that must have been a ploy to push W to endorse Rom-money and thus give him the kiss-o-death.

    Finally, a candidate from the Greedy One Percent is taking aim at the source of the economic disaster that struck in 2008: Bush, the War-Criminal-in-Chief. Why is he not in prison?

    February 17, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. Sonnie 2

    The glider that Romney is flying on is running out of wind. And so then he will just head downward untill he hits the ground. Maybe he is getting the word. Who wants a mud gunner with mega bucks in the white house?? Not me for darn sure

    February 17, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Slap, down goes Mittens!

    February 17, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. Mark

    Are Santorum and Romney engaged in an air pinching contest?

    February 17, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Joey Davis wrote:

    Oh my! The good ship Inevitability just hit an iceberg in the Erie!
    -------
    I like the metaphor. "The Mittanic Hits Iceberg" My crystal ball says that wil be occur in early to mid April.

    February 17, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. Alvin

    So, what you're saying is that DeWine initially endorsed Pawlenty, then he switched to Romney and now he's switching to Santorum..... This should give great hope to Gingrich, who seems to be next in line for a DeWine endorsement!

    February 17, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. Jake

    when is the second Gingrich surge coming?

    February 17, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    I guess Romney will finally start to understand why his flip-flops are so annoying to the public.

    February 17, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. JJNC

    “Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say 'what should be the reward of such sacrifices?' Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”-Samuel Adams

    February 17, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. open400

    I can not believe after all this debating, the GOP will end up with Rick Santorum. If he gets the nomination and goes out on the stump talking birth control, breaking up unions and war with Iraq, he will get creamed in the November 2012 election! The GOP pandering to the Tea Party is not an asset, but a problem.

    February 17, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Woman In California

    Good, and I don't care what DeWine's reasons are. Willard has done nothing since Obama became president but said nasty, disrespectful things (so excuse me for not crying). I sincerely hope EVERYONE leaves him – not that Santorum is an angel but Willard has been non stop in his quest for the presidency and I hope he falls flat on his magic underwear.

    February 17, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. Beverly - NYC

    The attorney General is a flip flopper too, Wow Mitt things are not looking good for your sure thing nomination. INot carrying one of your home states, is like your mom not voting for you. I 'm looking forward Tampa, brokered convention for sure.

    February 17, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |