Santorum Hosting Event at RNC for Romney

Monday, 06 Aug 2012 01:32 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Vanquished GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is organizing an event at the party’s convention later this month to solidify conservative support for nominee-to-be Mitt Romney, a senior Santorum aide told The Hill.

“Galvanizing the support of conservatives within the party,” is something the former Pennsylvania senator does well, his veteran senior strategist John Brabender told The Hill. “To have him front and center would seem strategically like the right thing to do.”

Santorum wants to improve the icy relationship the two candidates had during the primaries, when the hard-core conservative emerged as Romney’s top foe.

Santorum is organizing the event himself rather than in cooperation with another group, Brabender said. It’s scheduled for Aug. 29, the day before Romney will be formally nominated.

The Romney camp has to show respect for Santorum, given his strong support among grassroots conservative Republicans. But Romney doesn’t want to lose the spotlight to his former opponent.

Santorum hasn’t received any assurance from the Romney camp that he’ll be able to deliver an official speech at the convention. Brabender warned that conservative supporters of Santorum will be “quite disturbed” if he doesn’t get his day in the sun at the convention.

“He’s never going to be in the inner circle, but [the Romney team has] to deal with him somewhat gingerly, because of his connection to the tea party people and the social conservatives,” Terry Madonna, a professor of public affairs at Franklin and Marshall College, told The Hill. “You have to treat him delicately, but I would be stunned if you are listening to him on Monday or Tuesday at 9 o’clock at night.”



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