When Will Rick Santorum Endorse Mitt Romney?

Before he gets behind his erstwhile opponent, the former Pennsylvania senator wants respect to be paid -- and needs time to heal.

santorumlegacy.banner.reuters.jpg
Reuters

Now that Rick Santorum has suspended his presidential campaign, the only remaining suspense surrounding the former Pennsylvania senator involves whether, and when, he'll dutifully fall in line behind Mitt Romney.

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Tom Fitzgerald writes that Santorum is waiting "to be seduced" by Romney:

Why the delay in endorsing? For one thing, Santorum has a campaign debt of at least $900,000, and he is busy reaching out to supporters, through the conference call and email among other things, to donate money to retire the debt. He also apparently is intent on leveraging a role at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, such as influence on the party platform, and respect for conservatives in a Romney administration.

Romney was in Pennsylvania for a couple of days this week, but Santorum laid low. On Monday night, Santorum held a conference call with supporters nearly simultaneous with a Romney speech in Philadelphia, raising some local eyebrows -- was it intentional counter-programming? The next day, Romney visited Bethel, near Santorum's hometown in the western part of the state; Harrisburg, the capital, where he secured the endorsement of the state's governor, Tom Corbett; and Lancaster, where Santorum was originally scheduled to speak at a GOP dinner along with Romney and Newt Gingrich but pulled out of the program. ("Santorum's not here tonight, and if you ask me why, it's because he's embarrassed," a 72-year-old party activist named Carl Sideman opined to me at the event.)

A person close to Santorum told me practical considerations play a role, but there is also some simple healing to be done.

Santorum will come around in the coming weeks, the source said -- "when the hurt feelings disappear."

Presented by

Molly Ball is a staff writer covering national politics at The Atlantic.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Politics

Just In