Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has a message for the voters who supported his effort to capture the GOP nomination: support Mitt Romney for president.
Santorum shared how he recently sat down with the former Massachusetts governor, who will become the Republican nominee.
“On Friday, Governor Romney came to Pittsburgh for an over-hour long one-on-one meeting,” he said. “The conversation was candid, collegial and focused on the issues that you helped me give voice to during our campaign; because I believe they are essential ingredients to not only winning this fall, but turning our country around.”
“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. 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,” Santorum said.
He continued: “During our meeting I 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.”
“The family and its foundational role in America’s economic success, a central point of our campaign, was discussed at length. I was impressed with the Governor’s deep understanding of this connection and his commitment to economic policies that preserve and strengthen families. He clearly understands that having pro-family initiatives are not only the morally and economically right thing to do, but that the family is the basic building block of our society and must be preserved,” Santorum said.
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“I also shared with Governor Romney my belief that we cannot restore America as the greatest economic engine the world has ever seen until we return America to being a manufacturing superpower. He listened very carefully to my advice on this matter, and while our policy prescriptions differed, he clearly expressed his desire to create more opportunities for those that are feeling left behind in this economy,” Santorum added.
The former Pennsylvania senator said he impressed upon Romney the fact that personnel is policy and strongly encouraged him as he builds out his campaign staff and advisors that he add more conservative leaders as an integral part of his team.
“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.
Santorum said he talked with Romney about what is needed to win the election against pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
He also said he has significantly more in common with Romney on the issues than Obama.
“The primary campaign certainly made it clear that Governor Romney and I have some differences. But there are many significant areas in which we agree: the need for lower taxes, smaller government, and a reduction in out-of-control spending,” he said. “We certainly agree that abortion is wrong and marriage should be between one man and one woman. I am also comfortable with Governor Romney on foreign policy matters, and we share the belief that we can never allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons.”
Santorum said he has “no doubt” that Romney “will work with a Republican Congress to repeal it and replace it with a bottom up, patient, not government, driven system.”
“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,” he said.
Santorum concluded: “My conversation with Governor Romney was very productive, but I intend to keep lines of communication open with him and his campaign. I hope to ensure that the values that made America that shining city on the hill are illuminated brightly by our party and our candidates thus ensuring not just a victory, but a mandate for conservative governance.”
“Karen and I know firsthand how difficult the campaign trail can be particularly as governor Romney faces relentless attacks from the democrats. We have been praying for him and his family and will continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead,” he said.
Romney issued a statement today saying he appreciates Santorum’s support.
“Senator Santorum ran a spirited race and his commitment to conservatism energized millions of Republicans around the country. The race for the Republican presidential nomination has always been about restoring the promise of America. Senator Santorum and I share an absolute commitment to that goal, just as we share an absolute commitment to reversing the failing policies of the Obama Administration, from its assault on freedom of conscience to its feckless foreign policy. Ann and I extend our sincere gratitude to Karen and Rick for his endorsement, and our continued prayers for the health of their daughter Bella.”