Concerned about a new candidate being selected at a brokered convention, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum agreed to reserve their support for someone already in the race.
, in its Burns and Haberman column, reported that Romney approached Gingrich and Santorm with the idea. The three Republican candidates came to the agreement on March 3 after conducting a series of individual question-and-answer sessions as part of a presidential forum in Wilmington, Ohio, hosted by 2008 candidate Mike Huckabee, Politico reports, quoting Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard
The fourth leading candidate, Ron Paul, was not at the forum.
R.C. Hammond, a spokesman for Gingrich, said "the consensus that emerged from the conversation was that the Republican nominee was among 'the four of us' and not an outsider. Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior Romney adviser, agreed with that characterization," Alexander Burns reported in Politico.
Last week, however, Gingrich cast doubt on the mutual endorsement report. He twice raised the possibility of a new entrant in an interview last week with Bret Baier on Fox News, according to Politico and the Weekly Standard. Gingrich pointed to Romney’s difficulty winning support from conservatives.
“I’m just saying analytically — the way we campaigned out here, the fact that two out of the three delegates from each state is not going to be for Romney — is a significant advantage. We can argue later on whether Santorum is the right person to nominate or Gingrich is — or something else may happen.”
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