Romney-Santorum Friday meeting to be private
May 1st, 2012
10:58 AM ET
2 years ago

Romney-Santorum Friday meeting to be private

Washington (CNN) – Don't expect to see a smiling photo op when Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum meet on Friday.

The get together is to be private with no photo opportunity, John Brabender, a senior adviser to Santorum's campaign told CNN. The location of the get together is not being disclosed and there will be no press coverage allowed at the meeting site.

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The meeting is a chance for the two men to get to know each other because they did not have the time or opportunity during the campaign and discuss the general election campaign, Brabender told CNN.

"It is an important meeting," he said. "Both are looking forward to the meeting and…defeating Barack Obama."

Santorum's team has said one issue clearly is off the table: any talk of Romney helping to retire the former Senator's campaign debt.

"The Senator does not want that on the agenda," Brabender said adding it is "not appropriate to that meeting."

The campaign has about a million dollars of debt currently.

After Santorum announced he was suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on April 10, supporters donated a couple of hundred thousand dollars online, Brabender said.

"While each day we move closer to balancing our books, this debt is weighing on us and we need to settle our accounts. We are relying on you, as we have throughout the campaign, because you have been such a loyal supporter," Santorum said in an email to his backers Monday night – the close of the monthly finance reporting period.

As CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger reported last week, an immediate endorsement of Romney by his one-time rival is not expected at this meeting. Santorum wants assurances from Romney and his associates they are committed to the conservative principles important to him and that session will be part of a process.

"I am sure endorsement will be discussed at this meeting," Brabender said. "The Senator is very clear if he does endorse it will be done for the right reasons, not the wrong reasons." He mentioned other campaigns have asked for some help with retiring their debt.

Last week during an appearance on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" Santorum refused to utter the endorsement word but did say this: "It's very clear that he's going to be the Republican nominee. I'm going to be for the Republican nominee. We're going to do everything we can to defeat Barack Obama."

While Santorum is not expected to press Romney himself for a prominent speaking role at the Republican convention in Tampa, his supporters definitely think he deserves one.

"As a Republican consultant it seems logical to me someone who had such impact" winning the support of blue collar Republicans, tea party Republicans and conservative Republicans "it certainly would make sense to make that they would want" to give him such a spot, Brabender said. He emphasized he was giving his personal opinion as a GOP operative and was not speaking in his role as a Santorum adviser.

Santorum and Brabender sat down for a brief meeting with some Romney advisers last week.

"It was just a casual conversation" and it did not involve discussing the upcoming session, Brabender said. "It was not meant to be a precursor," he added but was more a chance for people to acquaint themselves.

As to Santorum's next political steps, CNN is told to expect an announcement next week.

"Let me also be clear because I've read some reports to the contrary: we aren't backing down from the fight for our conservative ideals. Very shortly I'll come off the sidelines and get back into the fight, because in order to defeat Barack Obama and restore our conservative principles to government we must work together or we will never succeed," Santorum said in his email to supporters.

Also see:

Romney might convince me, Christie says

Obama calls out 'previous statements' about bin Laden

McDonnell's Va. ads are about his state, not himself, spokesman says


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. luke,az

    When is the Republican party going to explode into 3 parties; moderates,evangelicals and tea partiers ?

    May 1, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    "Mitt Romney is the WORST candidate we could put up there against Barrack Obama"! So tell me just WHAT could these two have to talk about? Is Rick going to say..."hey just kidding"!

    May 1, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    -John, PA

    this say it all: Taking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden's death as a campaign tool.

    'there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his secret is safe. Senior military figures have said that Admiral William McRaven, a former SEAL who was then head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) made the decision to take bin Laden out. Tactical decisions were delegated even further down the chain of command.’
    ***********************************************
    Who is their boss, and who ultimately signs off on every military operation? The President. How will it come out that he did not make the call? Please tell us, Paranoid, PA.

    May 1, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Peace

    Romney's team is making a big mistake. They think people like: Santorum, Ron Paul, Rubio etc. will tell their people what to do and they will follow. Keep on dreaming team Romney people are not cows, they have brains and are thinking. They don't wait to be told what to do.

    May 1, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    What! No fancy pageant walks with Mitt? How disappointing is that?

    Let's see. So far, Mitt has gotten Christie, O'Donnell, Ayotte, Guiliani, McCain, Rubio, (sure I've missed one or two) up on his beauty pagaent stage of potential GOPer VP candidates strutting their stuff. Either Rick isn't strutting or Mitt isn't offering. What I don't get is how low these potentials will go. Guess they haven't realized yet that strutting with Mitt isn't going to be a career builder... or a campaign life saver.

    Just when you thought the GOPer circus had finally ended, here comes Mitt revving up the clown car for one more gig.

    May 1, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    Rick will demand Flip assure him the flat-earther, creationist, anti-gay, anti-choice ideals will be kept.....Goodbye independents

    May 1, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. Sniffit

    "'there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call."

    Fabricate good times, come on!! It's a fabrication. Fabricate good times, come on!!! Let's fabricate...

    May 1, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. SUBS 4 VOTES/Dutch Bad Newz, VA/GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    All they're cncerned about is defeating the President, but they offer nothing except old, failed policies. I can't see Pope Santorum supporting Mormon Mitt.

    May 1, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    "It is an important meeting," he said. "Both are looking forward to the meeting and…defeating Barack Obama."
    ----------------
    Whatever happened to middle class jobs and the economy? Republicans seem to have only two priorities: defeating Pres. Obama; taking better care of job creators.

    May 1, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Why would anyone vote Republican when they have had a conspiracy against President Obama and the American people for voting him into office. They don't like the President and they don't like the 99% and in 2012 we will show them, we don't like them either. Obama/Biden 2012.

    May 1, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    'there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call."

    And in your little world the sun rises in the west and sets in the east .... ?

    Don't kid yourself, buckoo. You sound astonishing silly and uninformed.

    May 1, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. rs

    If Mr. Romney had an ounce of good sense, he'd run as fast as he could to get as far away from Mr. Santorum and his crazy political positions as possible if he hope to get any moderate votes at all in November. It is people like Santorum who helped to firmly establish the image of today's GOP as being insane and full of ultra-radical rightists.

    May 1, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. Four and The Door

    Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012
    "Mitt Romney is the WORST candidate we could put up there against Barrack Obama"!
    __________________________________________________________________________________________
    Only the worst for anyone like you hoping for an Obama second term. Mitt Romney will win in November. The Republicans chose for success.

    May 1, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. ct

    rick you cant be vp but maybe mittens Butler...

    May 1, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. Corporations R. People 2

    @Four and the Door who keeps squawking about POTUS thanking Seal Team 6:

    May 6, 2011
    President Obama today privately thanked the Navy SEALs who cornered and killed Osama bin Laden, congratulating them for a "job well done."

    The president met the elite Team 6 squad on the same day that bin Laden's terror network, al Qaeda, admitted that its leader was dead.
    ----------------------------------------–
    There. Done in private; in person without compromising their ID's.
    So, did Mitt say what he said before he flopped? Yes or no?

    May 1, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. Delynn/Georgia

    I don't trust Romney. I think he is two faced.How in the world can he ever possibly know how to help the people when he doesn't even relate to the majority of us? As for Rick Santorum if he can find a neutral ground to support Romney on it will be a miracle. but as for me I would rather know what I am getting than to get a surprise and possible bigger punch to the economy.

    May 1, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. ct

    why is it that when republicans are confronted with facts they lie

    May 1, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. mcskadittle

    I wonder if the mitt has considered santourm as a vp

    May 1, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. Michael

    Romney 2012. Any conservative is better than Obama, and Mitt has values that will help our great country of America rise and shine and be restored. Obama has soduhmized this country

    May 1, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. John, PA

    @The Real Tom Paine
    after the November election, come January 20, 2013, Obama will no longer be president and the flood gates will open on what actuallly happened. You have just a little longer to wait.

    May 1, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real

    Why a private meeting?

    Just what is Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Robmney promising sanctimonious Santorum who called him, "the WORST candidate the GOP could put up there against Barrack Obama"!??

    Etch-a-Sketch Mitt will sell his souless core in secret dark room meetings and to his campaign donors then come out and FLIP FLOP to the American people!!

    Hope sanctimonious Santorum will call Mitt out when he starts lying again!!!!!

    May 1, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Mikey

    @John, PA – Another card carrying member of the "I won't admit Obama has done anything right" club? You know, shouting with your fingers plugging your ears so you don't have to hear the truth is no way to go through life. Wake up – there's an actual real world outside the bubble.

    Romney says he would have made the call, which is easy to say after it was successful. I guess if it hadn't gone well he'd be saying what a horrible decision it was. The truth is that a President Romney would have never been in a position to make the call. By his own statement, he would have never made the investment in pursuing OBL in the first place, so they never would have located him. Romney is a liar and little more.

    May 1, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. John, PA

    Private meetings with Romney, Santorum and Gingrich to bring the GOP together to put the subject line on Obama, the Obama record of failure. The list of Obama failures grow longer each day.

    May 1, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. John, PA

    @Mikey Obama doing something right, RESIGN EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY!

    May 1, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Republicans are rolling out all of these news headline grabbers just for the sole purpose of making people forget that this is the anniversary of the capture of OBL.

    May 1, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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