June 8th, 2012
01:53 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum intends to campaign for Romney, has not released delegates

Rosemont, Illinois (CNN) - Rick Santorum emerged from a stretch of public silence on Friday and previewed his political future: revealing his intention to campaign for former rival Mitt Romney, admitting he has not released his delegates to this summer's Republican National Convention and announcing that he'll stay politically active through a political committee.

Although Santorum has endorsed Romney and has pledged to defeat President Obama, one comment Santorum made to reporters suggested that political wounds sustained during the Republican primary are not entirely healed.

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When asked about his slams during the primary that Romney is too moderate and out of touch with working class voters, Santorum explained that he was looking at "the relative strengths and weaknesses of the candidates."

But as he called Romney a "tremendous improvement" from President Obama, Santorum added: "As I said during the campaign, I think we could have been even more of an improvement. But that issue is passed."

Santorum's comments came as he spoke to reporters just before taking the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Chicago. The former presidential candidate dropped his bid for the White House in April, scaling back his public presence.

At the beginning of the question and answer exchange, Santorum was asked if he intends to campaign with Romney.

"I'll be going out and stumping for candidates all over the country including Gov. Romney," the former Pennsylvania senator said. "And we are going to go out and talk about the issues that were important to the folks who voted for us and I think are important, central issues to the country."

Has he worked out specific plans of where and when he'll campaign with Romney or on his behalf, Santorum was asked?

"We've done a few things already at the request of the Romney campaign, focused primarily on state conventions and caucuses where we try to encourage our folks to work together and to make sure that we're unified going into the convention," Santorum said.

Also regarding this summer's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Santorum said he has not released his delegates who will attend.

"I haven't done anything as far as releasing anybody," Santorum said. "I want to make sure that our delegates have an opportunity to come. Many of these folks were great volunteers and workers for us. And I want to make sure that they have the opportunity to experience that convention."

"I certainly have encouraged everyone to support Gov. Romney as I have. But there are a lot of other issues at a convention than just voting for a nominee," Santorum added.

Santorum currently has 266 pledged delegates, according to CNN's count.

The former presidential candidate also discussed a recent meeting he had with RNC chairman Reince Priebus.

"We didn't talk specifically about any kind of [speaking] slot. We just wanted to make sure that our delegates from here in Illinois and Wisconsin and other places were treated well and given the same opportunity as other delegates."

"At the same time, I offered whatever I can do to be helpful at the convention. That's for the RNC and for Gov. Romney to decide who's going to speak and when they're going to speak. If I'm on the speaking list that's a great thing. If not, that's fine too."

Earlier Friday, Santorum laid out his political future, announcing the formation of a political committee to advance issues he cares about. The nonprofit organization, Patriot Voices, will also work to elect Romney.

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–CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. cali girl

    Santo is a legend in his own mind. I am sure he is thinking to himself, "What's In It For ME".

    June 8, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Q

    I like Romney, but I was shocked to learn he doged the draft using his wealth and privilage. We need to hear from him on this issue...

    June 8, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Mitt Romney has been getting a lot of support from extremists, which he has so far welcomed with open arms. Should Mitt Romney win the election, he will have a debt to repay with these extremists. That is troubling.

    June 8, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. DoNotWorry

    Mitt Romney believes in communist China and that is where he created jobs during his 20 years at Bain Capital. Romney believes in corporate people and commies. Nice.

    June 8, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Santorumsucks

    With this nut case loose on the campaign trail watch Romney's popularity plummet!

    June 8, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Santorumsucks

    Romney dodged the draft while in France recruiting members for his cult.

    June 8, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. Former Republican

    Keep voting for self serving, Republican politicians like this and kiss your future goodbye!

    June 8, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    Folks, just get rid off all the GOP thugs in November...

    June 8, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Nolibsallowed

    Dodged the draft? All LDS boys serve missions for 2 years. Always have and always will. Dedicating 2 years of your life to selfless service may not be the same as military service but its a far cry from hanging out in Canada to avoid service. All 5 of his boys served missions as well.

    June 8, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I see Rick is getting "frothy" again!

    June 8, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Nolibsallowed

    For those of you with no business experience, businessmen make money in America. Thats what they do. Making money allows them to hire people. We trade globaly these days so China is a player. Romney helped failing companies. If Romney denies them his private money they fail and everyone loses. If Romney lends them hard money and turns the company around then the company survives and some employees are better then 0. Venture capital has saved many businesses and helped many start up. Rehire Obama and watch our credit rating drop again and unemployment hover around 8% and our spending continue out of control or hire a successful businessman to get it done.

    June 8, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. once upon a horse

    when I see people the likes of Santorum and Gigrinch claim they are going to campaign for Romney I just have to laugh. When they come out and do so somebody should show a video of how they REALLY feel about the guy. Let's see...."Mitt's a LIAR"..per Newt. "Romney is the WORSE candidate we could put up against Obama" per Rick. But my favorite of course of all is "Nominate Mitt Romney and we'll LOSE" per Ann Coulter!

    June 8, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Santorum must be hoping to be named first Secretary of the Department of Moral Behavior (formerly known as the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Justice and Veterans' Affairs).

    June 8, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. Gale

    Romney's obnoxious and over-bearing father would not release his delegates to Nixon either--Nixon got even by giving Romney's father a much less desired post in the cabinet than Romeny had hoped for. How things come full circle. What a joke GOP 2012 continues to be.

    June 8, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. anagram_kid

    Nolibsallowed wrote – For those of you with no business experience, businessmen make money in America. Thats what they do. Making money allows them to hire people.

    ---------------------------------
    A fe points to consier... Making money may allow them to hire people, but it does not guarantee they will. The notion that all businessmen are successful is absurd. The purpose of government is not to make money, but to provide services. And finally, the idea that if someone is good at ‘thing A’ will automatically make them good at ‘thing B’ is the very foundation of the Peter Principal.

    June 8, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |