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4 reasons Rick Santorum hasn't endorsed Mitt Romney
The conservative Santorum has dropped his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, but he needs a few assurances before he gets behind the moderate Romney
 
Rick Santorum might be out of the race, but he's not quite ready to "come together for the party."
Rick Santorum might be out of the race, but he's not quite ready to "come together for the party."
Dennis Van Tine/CORBIS

Rick Santorum promises he'll be "all in" as Republicans try to deny President Obama a second term in November, yet 10 days after suspending his own campaign, Santorum still hasn't endorsed the party's presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney. The former rivals are planning to meet in Philadelphia, possibly in the next two weeks, and Santorum strategist John Brabender says Romney has made it clear he'd like to talk about getting Santorum's endorsement. They'll have to mend fences — a Santorum fundraising mailer that was arranged before he dropped out but only landed in Iowa mailboxes this week said that nominating a "Massachusetts Moderate" like Romney "truly frightens me." What does Santorum gain by playing hard to get? Here are four things he might hope to achieve:

1. Santorum wants Romney to put conservatives on his team
Santorum is holding out until Romney shows he "is sincere in trying to tap the enthusiasm" of the base by inviting Santorum "or some of his key advisors into his inner circle."True conservatives are the ones who'll boost turnout by putting bumper stickers on their cars and signs in their yards, Colin A. Hanna, of the conservative activist group Let Freedom Ring, tells the Chicago Tribune. And Romney needs Santorum's help to get them excited about his campaign. 

2. He wants Romney to help pay his campaign debt
Santorum is just "smartly working the GOP camp," Republican strategist Ford O'Connell tells The Christian Science Monitor. Before he gives Romney his endorsement, he's probably looking for Romney to sweeten the deal by offering Santorum a major role at the GOP convention, and getting Romney to help retire his $900,000 in campaign debt.

3. Santorum is using his leverage to push his views
The former Pennsylvania senator is looking for "a little sweet talk and some kind of commitment first," says Thomas Fitzgerald in The Philadelphia Inquirer. And that commitment will have to extend beyond giving Santorum a spot at the August convention. "The senator takes his endorsement very seriously," Brabender tells ABC News, "and he will want to get some assurance that some of the issues that are very important to him will be important in a Romney administration."

4. The pain of losing is just too fresh
"It was clearly painful for Santorum to suspend his campaign before having the chance to compete in his home state" of Pennsylvania, says Susan Milligan at U.S. News & World Report, "and endorsing Romney now would be like asking his own people to betray him." Maybe Santorum "just needs time to grieve" before jumping on the Romney bandwagon. "But if he still believes Romney would be a dangerous prospect in the Oval Office, that endorsement may never happen."

 

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