Santorum: I Won't Give Up My Delegates

Monday, 16 Apr 2012 11:03 PM

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Listening to Rick Santorum one gets the impression that in his opinion the search for the right GOP presidential nominee is still very much ongoing: “We must have a candidate who will keep faith and traditions alive in the country.”

With GOP presidential primaries looming in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York, former Penn. Sen. Rick Santorum, who recently suspended his campaign for the GOP nomination, was in a no surrender frame of mind Monday night as he remained mum on endorsing Mitt Romney — or any candidate — during a phone conference with Newsmax and others Monday night.

Santorum, who shared the phone line with his wife Karen, admitted that he has been fairly “quiet” since the suspension announcement.

“We haven’t been talking much,” he said. When pressed to address the fate of his pledged delegates or how his supporters should vote in upcoming primaries, including his home state of Pennsylvania, he was clearly not giving an inch.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk with Gov. Romney,” Santorum admitted. “I haven’t supported anyone at this point. Vote the way you want to,” was his only advice to those supporters who would be soon flocking to the polls.

As to his collection of delegates, which he has not released: “Our delegates will go to the convention and have a say and an impact,” he said. “We want them to continue to reflect the things our campaign stood for and present a strong conservative voice at the convention. We must have a candidate who will keep faith and traditions alive in the country.”

Santorum has 285 delegates, according to the latest ABC News delegate estimate, second to Mitt Romney’s 661. He captured the majority of them by winning 10 states — 11 if you include Missouri’s nonbinding primary, which the candidate counted in his speech upon suspending his campaign.

“In the next week or so, we will be making some announcements,” Santorum promised without any hint of particulars other than the fact that their goal was to get focused on “a rallying point.”

“We’re still in the discussion phase,” he said. “But we’re not backing away one bit.”

Santorum skipped over a direct question as to whether he would “unsuspend” his campaign if things started breaking his way again. Instead he only promised that “we will be all in.” That would include working to impact House and Senate races across country, seeking to keep his special issues “in the fore.”

Yes, he and his crew would remain “active in the presidential race. There is no question that Barack Obama must be defeated.” He further pledged to work on the coalitions that would be needed to defeat the president in 2012.

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