Santorum: I Would Run as Romney’s VP

Monday, 26 Mar 2012 06:32 PM

By Martin Gould

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With his chances of gaining the GOP nomination slipping, Rick Santorum said on Monday that, if asked, he would consider an offer to be Mitt Romney’s running mate in the fall general election.

The former Pennsylvania senator responded “of course” when David Brody asked him the question during an interview for the Christian Broadcasting Network.

"I mean, look, I would do in this race — as I always say, this is the most important race in our country's history,” Santorum said. “So I'm going to do everything I can.

"I'll do whatever is necessary to help our country," he added.

Santorum won the Louisiana primary on Saturday but now faces an uphill battle as most of the races in the next month are in unfriendly territory. Romney now has more than double his number of delegates, according to an Associated Press analysis.

Romney has given no hint yet about whom he would choose to be his running mate. Most speculation has centered on Republicans who did not enter the presidential contest, such as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said on Sunday that he would be consider it if he were asked.

Santorum insisted that he is not giving up yet in his battle to win the nomination, telling Brody that it is “increasingly likely” that the race will go all the way to the Republican National Convention in Tampa in late August.

Santorum has pounded at Romney’s record during the lengthy race to choose a GOP candidate for the White House. He has attacked him particularly for signing a healthcare bill into law in Massachusetts when he was governor. Many see that law as the blueprint for President Barack Obama’s healthcare initiative, and the White House has said as much.

Santorum said that, if Romney is the nominee, the Republicans will lose the chance to make the healthcare argument in the presidential campaign.

“The Republican establishment in [Washington] wants to nominate somebody that will take away that issue, because he supported a mandate — the same mandate — in Massachusetts. And when the debate was going on in 2009, he actually came out and argued for Barack Obama to impose the same mandate in Washington, D.C.

“He advocated for this unconstitutional mandate that Republicans universally, and 75 percent of Americans, believe is the wrong approach. That’s why I’ve said that Mitt Romney is uniquely disqualified in this race from taking on Barack Obama in the biggest, most central issue, on the economy, and on freedom in this country.”

He also hit at his rival for flip-flopping. “Romney has made a decision is he is running as the establishment candidate in a primary, and you heard him say they’re going to hit the reset button, take out the Etch A Sketch, shake up their policies, and run as a whole new candidate.

“That candidate is not going to excite the conservative base — whether it’s tea party or evangelical — and he’s just saying, ‘Look, they have no choice but to vote for me. They’re not going to vote for Obama, so they’ll come out and vote for me, and I’ll go after moderate voters.’

“We’ve seen in past elections, you need energy, you need enthusiasm, you need volunteers, you need excitement, and when you don’t have that, you don’t win elections.”

But Santorum emphasized that his attacks are not personal. “My conversations with Mitt are cordial,” he said. “This this is not about personal relationships, it’s about differences on policy, differences on vision for the country, and I try to keep it not personal.

"I like Mitt Romney, I think he will make a great contribution to our country, I hope it's at some capacity within my administration in the future, but I have no personal problem with Mitt, and wish him the very best.”

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