The PJ Tatler

Santorum: Vote for Romney Because He's Not Obama

Following in the footsteps of Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum endorsed his formal rival for the Republican presidential nomination.

Santorum’s endorsement, though, came in the form of a late-night email that stressed his differences with Mitt Romney and therefore gave the need to beat President Obama as the key reason to vote for the former Massachusetts governor.

Santorum said that Romney came to Pittsburgh on Friday for a “candid, collegial” chat with his onetime campaign foe.

“While the issue of my endorsement did not come up, I certainly have heard from many of you who have weighed in on whether or not I should issue a formal endorsement,” Santorum said. “Thank you for your counsel, it has been most helpful. However, I felt that it was completely impossible for me to even consider an endorsement until after a meeting to discuss issues critical to those of us who often feel our voices are not heard by the establishment: social conservatives, tea-party supporters, lower and middle income working families.”

He noted his success in the primaries and said he “felt a deep responsibility to assess Governor Romney’s commitment to addressing the issues most important to conservatives, as well his commitment to ensuring our appropriate representation in a Romney administration.”

“I strongly encouraged Governor Romney as he builds out his campaign staff and advisors that he add more conservative leaders as an integral part of his team,” he added. “And you can be sure that I will work with the Governor to help him in this task to ensure he has a strong team that will support him in his conservative policy initiatives.”

Santorum said “four more years of President Obama is simply not an option” and “that reality weighed heavy on me” as he decided his next move.

“The primary campaign certainly made it clear that Governor Romney and I have some differences,” he said. “Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated. The task will not be easy. It will require all hands on deck if our nominee is to be victorious. Governor Romney will be that nominee and he has my endorsement and support to win this the most critical election of our lifetime.”

In a P.S., Santorum promised “very soon we will be making another big announcement, and I will be asking you to once again join forces with me to keep up the fight, together.”