Romney and Santorum aiming to meet May 4th
April 24th, 2012
05:19 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney and Santorum aiming to meet May 4th

Washington (CNN) - Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney are tentatively set to meet on May 4th, two senior Santorum strategists confirmed Tuesday. Among the issues they will discuss is a possible endorsement by Santorum, his role as a Romney surrogate and conservative policy issues going forward.

Santorum's goal is to have a policy-oriented session in which he tries to find a "comfort level" about the role "social conservatives, tea party activists and blue collar Republicans will play in the campaign and in the Romney administration," John Brabender, a senior strategist for the Santorum campaign, told CNN. Even so, he said, "we are not walking in there with a litmus test. This is meant to be a candid conversation."

The session will not be "a meeting to endorse (but) a meeting to talk about the endorsement and other maters," Brabender said. Senior aides tell CNN that eventually Santorum will endorse Mitt Romney, and that Santorum will work with Romney to beat President Barack Obama.

What will not happen, Brabender said, is any kind of a quid pro quo that involves an offer of an endorsement in exchange for something from Romney. "I can assure you there will be no quid pro quo as far as Rick Santorum being on the short list (for vice president), no discussion of any talks of Romney helping us with any debt we have, and I doubt there will be any discussion about (Santorum's role) at the convention."

The Santorum campaign last week reported as of the end of March $1.9 million in debt but $1.8 million of cash on hand.

There is clearly a feeling among Santorum advisers that their candidate deserves some deference – even a place on Romney's short list for vice president.

"Rick Santorum won 11 states. He won more counties than every other candidate combined. His conservative agenda resonated," Hogan Gidley, a senior adviser to the Santorum campaign, told CNN. "We want assurances conservatism will be strongly represented in the nominee" and will work to "make sure that agenda is heard and represented on the ticket."

As for Santorum's own political future, he's expected to announce his plans early next week, CNN has learned. Given the fact that Santorum has continued to meet and hold discussions with conservative leaders, one possibility: leading a political action committee devoted to electing conservatives.

While Romney would no doubt like to have an immediate Santorum endorsement following any meeting between the two men, senior Santorum aides say that isn't expected to happen. The session will not be "a meeting to endorse, (but) a meeting to talk about the endorsement and other matters," Brabender said.

The Santorum campaign clearly believes its man can be very useful in Romney's presidential campaign. "They need to talk about how to deploy Santorum," Brabender said. "They will talk some politics. Rick knows Pennsylvania and Ohio and I'm sure there will be talk about that."

As far as policy is concerned, Brabender says Santorum wants some answers on some very specific matters. If Obamacare is to be repealed, for instance, conservatives want assurance that mandates would not be part of any replacement. Santorum also wants a discussion of issues like a commitment to balancing the budget, or even American policy towards Iran.

A Romney campaign spokeswoman had no comment on the expected meeting.

CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. NVa Native

    Show Rick the RoMoney and just like every other piece of GOPit he'll do what ever it takes for a buck.

    April 24, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Is this idiot pulling sanitarium for grabbing a win, if so he is an authenticated idiot. I approve his lunacy. Bain-capital. YouTube watch when mitt Romney came to town. Enjoy. God bless.

    April 24, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Hal

    Take your sweet spiteful time, El Santo, no need to rush; Mitt"s only been bleeding internally before you stopped knifing him outright. In fact, wait until Nov 7th to endorse, what's a few more months?

    April 24, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Pete

    But just how much will Romney pay for that endorsement,only his SuperPacs know for sure.Romneys buying this presidency and you rightwing idiots know it.If elected we'll be up the creek surely without any paddles,politically and financially in the public and private sectures.It's scarey what this Mormon monster might do when unleashed,he could send us back 50 years in all aspects of government as we presently know it.He's corporate extremism,gone wild,but he'll run into the same roadblocks with Dems as Pres.Obama has with republicans,its a proven fate...Nobody,even his own party, trusts him and he'll be on a short leash for a while...till he can prove himself,but that's a long shot because he won't win,that's all,plain and simple....

    April 24, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. GonzoinHouston

    "I have the religious and social conservatives in my pocket Mitt, what do you have to say about that?"
    "OK, Rick, what do you want? Regulate abortion clinics out of existence? National ban on contraception? Federal funding for christian schools only? Just name it."
    "Mitt, Mitt, these are small things you're talking about. They should automatically be in the platform, and you should be actively promoting all of them, regardless of what I require."
    "Quit beating around the burning bush already, what do you want in exchange for delivering the Christians?"
    "That's easy, Mitt. I want the slot."
    "The slot? Wait, you mean,,,"
    "That's right, Mitt, the Vice Presidential nomination. That's all I want and all I will settle for."
    "Hey, the Tea Partiers want their man for Veep, Grover Norquist and the Koch brothers are on my back like a cheap suit! I can't just guarantee you the VP job."
    "If you can't guarantee it, I can guarantee a very embarrassing mass walkout on prime time TV. And a severe shortage of volunteers for the campaign. Shall I go on?"
    "You cretin! There's no way I can win with you on the ticket!"
    "Actually, there's no way you can win without me. Now sign here!"

    April 24, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. R Burns

    It depends on how you define Christianity. If you mean the moral tenets, following the Golden Rule and the 10 Commandments and Jesus laid them out then, yes, Romney and other Mormons are Christian. If you mean trusting Jesus to have given us the correct information about how the Kingdom of God works and what we can expect, Mormonism gives quite a different picture. I'm going with Jesus. If I can trust Him to give me the truth about the commandments, why should I question Christ when it comes to building my hopes for eternity? Mormonism refutes Jesus, so in that respect no, Romney and other Mormons are not Christian.

    April 24, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. Larry L

    Santorum's convictions will prove to be worth nothing. When it gets down to the power game they all sell out to the highest bidder. The Koch brothers are the highest bidders it seems...

    April 24, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. dagoberto

    Mitt is so desperate that he is willing to do, buy or say anything to get the nomination.
    After that Obama destroys him.
    And the republicans will be left wondering: Mc Cain 2.0?

    April 24, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. Mikey

    @R Burns – Who cares? As Ben Franklin used to say, "Serve God by serving Man." It's that simple. Can Romney do the best job for the country as a whole and for the majority of Americans? Christian or not Christian, the answer is no.

    April 24, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Orwell knows

    Texas needs to be represented by having Rick Perry there.

    April 24, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. Martha in CF

    After all the name bashing these two are going to talk to one another now and Sanitarium may be a VP finalist.....How hypocritical is this!!!!!!!!!!!! Was all the name bashing lies to make the American people think this was all an act in a play? This article makes me sick.............

    April 24, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. Candace Clough

    go ahead, put Santorum on the ticket, every independent will run from you

    April 24, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. rs

    Why would Mr. Romney want an endorsement from a crazy person? It is Mr. Santorum that appears to have touched off the Republican "War on Women". If I were Mr. Romney, I would avoid Santorum like the plague.

    April 24, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  14. tttman

    "Would the potential attraction to Mormonism by simply having a Mormon in the White House threaten traditional Christianity by leading more Americans to a church that some Christians believe misleadingly calls itself Christian, is an active missionary church, and a dangerous cult?"

    It could be quite a cat fight on the campaign trail.

    "In the Netherlands, people wear different bracelets if they are elderly," Santorum said. "And the bracelet is: 'Do not euthanize me.' Because they have voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands but half of the people who are euthanized - 10% of all deaths in the Netherlands - half of those people are euthanized involuntarily at hospitals because they are older and sick. And so elderly people in the Netherlands don't go to the hospital. They go to another country, because they are afraid, because of budget purposes, they will not come out of that hospital if they go in there with sickness."

    April 24, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  15. Debby

    Whats up with Gingrich its insulting that he and Paul won't get out of the race. They look ridiculous.

    April 24, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    For now the best you should hope for is that Santorum MIGHT get to sweep the floors and put out the trash during the campaigning but don't you go expecting him to be VP now. He's at the end of the line waaay in back somewhere too
    far for the eye to see. Don't even entertain the thought of Santorum for VP considering alllll the other people that America loves and that Romney has to rule out as possible VP.

    So it looks like it will be a Romney/Santorum ticket for 2012.

    April 24, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Mojo Jack

    For now the best you should hope for is that Santorum MIGHT get to sweep the floors and put out the trash during the campaigning but don't you go expecting him to be VP now. He's at the end of the line waaay in back somewhere too far for the eye to see. Don't even entertain the thought of Santorum for VP considering alllll the other people that America loves and that Romney has to rule out as possible VP.

    So it looks like it will be a Romney/Santorum ticket.

    April 24, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |