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article imageSantorum and Gingrich may consolidate ticket to challenge Romney

By JohnThomas Didymus     Apr 2, 2012 in Politics
There are indications that Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are considering working together to stop Mitt Romney getting the GOP nomination. Recent comments from both camps suggest a Santorum-Gingrich ticket may emerge at the party's August convention.
Gingrich, according to NY Post, said he will remain in the nomination race until Romney wins the 1,144 delegates he needs to lock down the nomination. He told CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the "math does not show Romney getting the 1,144 delegates" he needs to secure the nomination. NY Post reports Gingrich's Wisconsin state campaign director, Robert Lorge, expressed the same views, saying he is convinced that Romney will not get the required number of delegates before the Republican National Convention in August.
According to NewsMax, Lorge said that Gingrich and Santorum may work together to gain control of the convention.
Lorge, at a conference call last week, spoke of a "possibility of consolidating Santorum and Gingrich delegates at the Republican National Convention in order to overcome Romney’s delegate math." He said: “I imagine there’s going to be a lot of negotiation and compromising between the pro-Newt Gingrich and the pro-Rick Santorum delegates. You may have a Newt Gingrich-Rick Santorum ticket. You may have a Rick Santorum-Newt Gingrich ticket. Nobody knows how that ticket’s going to work out. But I imagine it’ll end up being something like that.”
Lorge, however, extolled Gingrich, saying he is the only candidate "that realizes this battlefield is almost done, but the coming battlefield is the convention. Like all true leaders, he’s the first one on to that battlefield. He’s going to be focusing on contacting those delegates, particularly the soft delegates, but all the delegates even the alternates.”
NewsMax notes that political analysts say that while Romney is clearly leading in the delegates count, having won more delegates than the Santorum and Gingrich combined, he will have to win almost every primary before the convention to secure the nomination. If, however, he loses to Santorum in states such as Pennsylvania and Texas, the Republican convention due August in Tampa could become keenly contested.
The signals coming from Santorum campaign also suggest that Santorum may also be considering sharing ticket with Gingrich. Huffington Post reports that Rick Santorum on Sunday, said he would drop out of the race only if Romney gathered the required number of delegates to secure the nomination. He told Savannah Guthrie on NBC's "Meet the Press": "If Governor Romney gets that required number, then without a doubt, if he's at that number, we'll step aside. But right now, he's not there. He's not even close to it. Like I said, less than half of the delegates have been selected. We've got a long way to go. We're going to fight to make sure we can win."
Like Gingrich, Santorum has insisted that he is continuing until the Republican National Convention in August. ABC News reports that both Gingrich and Santorum have expressed hope in a "come-from-behind" victory. After Kansas Jayhawks came from behind with a 2-point victory in the Kansas-Ohio State NCAA Final Four game on Saturday night, Gingrich responded to CBS' Bob Schieffer's question whether he was going to drop out of the nomination race, saying: “I’m going to take Kansas as a model. Kansas last night set the second record for coming from behind.”
ABC reports Santorum similarly told Fox's Chris Wallace: “You should’ve told Kansas that last night when they were down almost 20 points in the first half. This race isn’t even at halftime yet. We haven’t even selected half the delegates yet. Governor Romney is not halfway to the magic number and, you know, we look at the calendar ahead, and we feel very, very good about where we are going.”
Huffington Post notes that in spite of the resolve of Gingrich and Santorum to remain in contention for GOP nomination, an increasing number of Republicans are calling for both to end their nomination bid so that the party may begin focusing attention and resources on the general election. CNN reports that Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who recently endorsed Romney, predicted an effective end to the primary season if Romney wins Tuesday's contest by a wide margin. He said: "If he gets a big delegate count, which I think he'll get, then we believe, as conservatives, that we should coalesce around our nominee and focus on the task at hand, which is the fall election, and not drag this thing out, which I think becomes counterproductive."
Huffington Post reports Santorum, however, argued that extending the nomination process could enhance the Republican Party's chances of beating Obama at the general election. He said: "Four years ago, we had a nominee in March. How did that work for us, when we didn't have the right nominee? Right now we have to get the right candidate. I would make the argument, the shorter this campaign in the general election, the better the advantage for the Republican nominee."
When Guthrie, on "Meet the Press," asked Santorum whether he shouldn't drop out after the high-profile endorsements for Romney from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former President George H.W. Bush and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, Santorum argued that suggesting he should drop out because of the endorsements was wrong. He argued that the endorsements did not express strong support from Romney, but were only motivated by a perceived need to "end" the nomination process. Concerning the endorsements by Rubio and Ryan, he said: "Everyone is entitled to a mistake in their life. You know, Rubio and Ryan are pretty young. They'll recover from it."
Romney, according to CNN, currently has 571 delegates; Santorum, 264; Gingrich, 137 and Ron Paul, 71. CNN explains that to clinch the nomination, Santorum needs 880 delegates, or 72% of the remaining advocates at stake. Gingrich would need 1,007 delegates, or 83% of the remaining delegates.
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