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Santorum Denies Charges to Undercut Romney After Letter Arrives Late

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  • Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney
    (Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Lott)
    Republican presidential candidates former Senator Rick Santorum and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) laugh as they shake hands at the conclusion of the Republican presidential candidates debate in Mesa, Arizona, February 22, 2012.
By Paul Stanley, Christian Post Reporter
April 18, 2012|11:41 am

A spokesperson for former Sen. Rick Santorum said a fundraising letter that was harshly critical of Mitt Romney was paid for and released to a direct mail company before Santorum announced his decision to suspend his campaign early last week.

Alice Stewart, who is a spokesperson for Santorum, said the letter was not intended to undermine Gov. Romney and was written and produced when Santorum was still seeking the GOP presidential nomination.

Direct mail letters are one of the most impactful and common methods candidates use to raise funds and are designed to motivate individuals to immediately respond. The Des Moines Register first reported the story soon after potential contributors received the letter in Monday's mail.

"It truly frightens me to think what'll happen if Mitt Romney is the nominee," reads the letter signed by Santorum and that showed up in Monday's mail.

Santorum announced his decision to drop out of the GOP race for the White House last week because his campaign was running low on funds and he was most likely going to lose his home state of Pennsylvania.

However, Santorum has declined to endorse Romney and in a conference call with supporters on Monday evening. He advised them to vote their conscience and reminded them he has not yet endorsed anyone.

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"As far as how you vote, that's up to you," Santorum said on the call. "I haven't supported any candidate at this point, so that's really up to you."

The letter drew sharp comparisons between Romney and President Obama, mentioning health care and "social issues."

"My friend, Republicans and conservatives will be crippled by a nominee who presents zero contrast with Barack Obama on the major issues of this election," says the letter, repeating an often-used attack on Romney. "Any attempt by Mitt Romney to attack President Obama's positions on healthcare, energy policy, social issues, or the economy will be easily neutralized."

Iowa GOP strategist Steve Grubbs handled Herman Cain's direct mail efforts in Iowa and told The Des Moines Register that direct mail is sometimes tricky for campaigns because the time between when they receive the letters from the printer and when they are processed and mailed can take two to three weeks.

"Well after Herman Cain dropped out, we had mail landing telling people we were on the verge of winning the nomination," said Grubbs. "I'm sure the Santorum campaign is regretting that mail piece at this point, because as much as they may not have wanted to lose to Romney, I'm sure they don't want to be seen as hurting the chances of the GOP this fall."

Santorum reminded his supporters on the Monday evening conference call that he hasn't spoken with Gov. Romney about an endorsement but he wanted to do what was in the country's best interest.

He did, however, remove all negative references to Romney from his campaign website.

 

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