Pawlenty: Time for Santorum to 'Get Real' and Bow Out

Friday, 06 Apr 2012 04:58 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Tim Pawlenty says despite the fact that polls show that presidential hopeful  Rick Santorum is either trailing or losing clout to Mitt Romney in his home state, in the end the former Pennsylvania senator should win the Keystone State.

But Pawlenty, himself a former presidential candidate and a current Romney supporter, said Thursday Santorum’s lagging numbers should be a broader wake-up call that it is time for him to “get real” and bow out of the race.
 
“The polls bounce around a little bit — but we still expect Rick Santorum to win his home state. And if he can`t, that`s a pretty big signal about the state of his campaign,” Pawlenty told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto. “But I think it is time more broadly, Neil, for him to get real. He is not going to be the Republican nominee — Mitt Romney is.
 
“And by continuing his campaign in the manner that he is, he is delaying the day where the conservative movement — the Republican Party — can better unify and get better prepared to defeat Barack Obama,” the former Minnesota governor said. “Rick Santorum would have to win somewhere around 70 percent of all the remaining delegates to get close to being the nominee — that is simply not going to happen.”
 
Cavuto noted that it is still not numerically certain that Romney can get the support of the 1,144 delegates he needs to secure the nomination before this summer’s Republican National Convention and asked if that doesn’t that make it dangerous to suggest other candidates abandon the race.
 
“Well, Mitt Romney is almost certain to get the 1,144 . . . if you set aside the spin, it is pretty clear that numerically and practically Mitt Romney is going to be the nominee,’ Pawlenty said. “So then the question becomes: What’s the point of the continuation of the Santorum or Newt Gingrich campaigns? If you are interested in not the particulars of those campaigns, but defeating President Obama and uniting the conservative cause, advancing the Republican agenda, and supporting our ultimate and likely nominee, Mitt Romney, the sooner the better.

“We expect Rick Santorum would win Pennsylvania — like I said earlier, it would be natural for anybody, including us, to look at that and say: Well, of course you`re expected to win your home state. If you cannot then it is a pretty significant signal about the strength or weakness of your campaign,” he said “So Pennsylvania should be won by Rick Santorum and he will have to calculate in his own mind whether he can actually do it or not. And like we said, from the Romney campaign standpoint, we expect him to win Pennsylvania.”
 

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