NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Rick Santorum ends presidential campaign

A week after fail­ing to defeat Mitt Rom­ney in Wis­con­sin’s Repub­li­can pri­ma­ry — por­trayed by the tra­di­tion­al media as a make-it or break-it moment for his can­di­da­cy — Rick San­to­rum announced at a press con­fer­ence in Get­tys­burg, Penn­syl­va­nia, that he was end­ing his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

He did not endorse Mitt Rom­ney, who now appears to be a lock for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion, nor did he indi­cate whether he would release del­e­gates already pledged to him. Instead, he kept his remarks focused on his grat­i­tude for his fam­i­ly and his sup­port­ers, who he cred­it­ed with help­ing keep his cam­paign alive.

In a mes­sage post­ed to his web­site, San­to­rum stuck to the same theme.

“Today I announced that I am sus­pend­ing my cam­paign for the Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States. This has been one of the hard­est deci­sions Karen and I have ever had to face togeth­er,” he wrote. “And it has been hard in large mea­sure because of you. I know that my can­di­da­cy has offered you a way to fight for your con­vic­tions, and I do not want to let you down.”

How­ev­er, San­to­rum did indi­cate (briefly) that his cam­paign team had recent­ly come to the con­clu­sion that Mitt Rom­ney’s del­e­gate lead was insur­mount­able.

“Our good friends in Texas have been work­ing non-stop to make sure that they have a say in the choice of our nom­i­nee, but with­out the state chang­ing its del­e­gate allo­ca­tion to win­ner-take-all, I do not see a path for­ward that does not risk our shared objec­tive of defeat­ing Barack Oba­ma in Novem­ber.”

To be com­pet­i­tive with Rom­ney going for­ward, San­to­rum would have need­ed more than just a win in Penn­syl­va­nia and a win (plus a rules change) in Texas. He would have need­ed to find a way to con­vince vot­ers in regions of the coun­try where he has done pret­ty poor­ly to back his can­di­da­cy.

(Del­e­gate-rich states on the coasts like New York and Cal­i­for­nia have not yet weighed in and were expect­ed to be pro-Rom­ney).

Iron­i­cal­ly, Rick San­to­rum’s oth­er rival, Newt Gin­grich, con­tin­ues to say that he is stay­ing in the race. Gin­grich has won just two states so far — his home state of Geor­gia and its north­ern neigh­bor, South Car­oli­na — but in oth­er states, he has effec­tive­ly helped pro­pel Mitt Rom­ney to vic­to­ry by split­ting the con­ser­v­a­tive vote.

Had Gin­grich left the race after New Hamp­shire, or even after Super Tues­day, San­to­rum might have been a posi­tion to keep going, at least for a while longer. San­to­rum prob­a­bly could have cap­tured South Car­oli­na and Geor­gia had Gin­grich called it quits in advance of those states’ pri­maries.

It’s also pos­si­ble San­to­rum could have won in Alas­ka, Michi­gan, Ohio, and Wis­con­sin had Gin­grich allowed he and Rom­ney to bat­tle it out alone.

Con­ser­v­a­tive activists react­ed to San­to­rum’s announce­ment with dis­may. On FreeRe­pub­lic, a pop­u­lar con­ser­v­a­tive mes­sage board, posters expressed strong anti-Rom­ney sen­ti­ment. Here’s a sam­pling of some of the com­ments.

I’ve seen 3 freep­ers who I have hard­ly seen in one minute post unite behind Rom­ney lets beat Oba­ma

The Rom­ney bots have been wait­ing for some time to get on here and tell us to unite and they will use the usu­al crap of us hat­ing Oba­ma and we have to unite to beat him.

All of his paid staffers will be here soon you watch.

Oh well, time for me to start look­ing for a dif­fer­ent polit­i­cal par­ty. Still not vot­ing for Rom­ney.

—  kre­itzer

I hope he does not endorse Rom­ney.….

sheikde­tail­feath­er

The Tea Party/Independents need to field a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date this fall because I hope the GOP/Romneyites lose this elec­tion.

ups­driv­er

This par­tic­u­lar com­ment, left by a dis­grun­tled Gin­grich sup­port­er, was my favorite:

well… San­to­rum suc­ceed­ed in clear­ing the way for Mit­tens *sigh*

now that his job is done, time to quit.

I hope every­one that sup­port­ed San­to­rum is hap­py with the result!

If you had just got­ten behind Gin­grich, we could of had a REAL con­ser­v­a­tive as our nom­i­nee.

TexasFreeper2009

Yeah, that’s right. If only con­ser­v­a­tive activists had coa­lesced around Newt Gin­grich — the epit­o­me of fam­i­ly val­ues — Mitt Rom­ney would be the one out of the race by now! You tell ’em, Texas Freep­er! Tell ’em how wrong they were!

San­to­rum’s rivals, of course, had a very dif­fer­ent reac­tion to the news. On Twit­ter, Mitt Rom­ney briefly salut­ed San­to­rum, say­ing, “Sen­a­tor San­to­rum is an able and wor­thy com­peti­tor, and I con­grat­u­late him on the cam­paign he ran.”

Mean­while, Ron Paul’s nation­al cam­paign chair­man, Jesse Ben­ton, released a brief state­ment urg­ing San­to­rum sup­port­ers to coa­lesce around Paul’s can­di­da­cy. “Con­grat­u­la­tions to Sen­a­tor San­to­rum on run­ning such a spir­it­ed cam­paign. Dr. Paul is now the last – and real – con­ser­v­a­tive alter­na­tive to Mitt Rom­ney. We plan to con­tin­ue run­ning hard, secure del­e­gates, and press the fight for lim­it­ed, con­sti­tu­tion­al gov­ern­ment in Tam­pa,” said Ben­ton.

Gin­grich also wast­ed no time in mak­ing a play for San­to­rum’s sup­port­ers.

“I am com­mit­ted to stay­ing in this race all the way to Tam­pa so that the con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment has a real choice,” Gin­grich announced in a state­ment. “I humbly ask Sen­a­tor Santorum’s sup­port­ers to vis­it Newt dot org to review my con­ser­v­a­tive record and join us as we bring these val­ues to Tam­pa. We know well that only a con­ser­v­a­tive can pro­tect life, defend the Con­sti­tu­tion, restore jobs and growth and return to a bal­anced bud­get.”

Con­sid­er­ing that Paul has won no states and that Gin­grich has won only two, the like­li­hood of either of them being able to pre­vent Mitt Rom­ney from sewing up the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion in advance of the nation­al con­ven­tion in Tam­pa seems remote. They can con­tin­ue cam­paign­ing if they want.

Rom­ney, of course, won’t regard either of them as a seri­ous threat. Nei­ther will the tra­di­tion­al media, Belt­way pun­dits, or the Repub­li­can estab­lish­ment.

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One Comment

  1. Now the spec­u­la­tion on a VP begins.

    # by Mike Barer :: April 10th, 2012 at 10:14 PM