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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Santorum Moving Forward, Could Be Considered for VP

  • (Photo: REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)
    Republican presidential candidates (L-R) former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney participate in a Republican presidential candidates debate in Concord, New Hampshire, January 8, 2012.
February 6, 2012|5:30 pm

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum confirmed once again that he is in the Republican presidential race to stay and expected to do well in the three contests coming up this week. But Santorum may have another opportunity to stay in the race past August if he is chosen as a vice presidential running mate for the eventual nominee.

While the race for the GOP presidential nomination is not over by a long shot, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's financial war chest and his momentum continue to pose obstacles for Santorum and his two other rivals, former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

"We've got three states coming up on Tuesday," Santorum said on Fox News Sunday. "We're going to show that this race is moving in a very different direction."

One component that makes the nomination process a marathon as opposed to a sprint is the way delegates are awarded. In years past, nominees who won a primary walked away with all of the state's delegates. That's not the case anymore since states have gone to a "proportional" delegate process.

For example, when Gingrich won South Carolina he received the vast majority of delegates but that did not preclude Romney from getting a couple of delegates for his second place effort. One exception was Florida's "winner take all" process. However, their state lost delegates when they decided to move in that direction.

Regardless of how long Gingrich, Santorum or Paul stay in the race, most analysts agreed that neither Gingrich nor Paul would be considered for a VP slot if Romney were to secure the nomination.

"I think my beagle has a better chance of being vetted for the vice presidential position than either Paul or Gingrich," said political analyst Shelton Hayes.

Gingrich has been the most aggressive in attacking Romney and it seems apparent they have little in common, politically or personally. Paul, on the other hand, does not fit the "mainstream" mold that Romney needs to defeat an Obama-Biden ticket in November. Plus, whoever represents the GOP will most likely win Paul's home state of Texas.

The next question is, what about Santorum? If Romney were to win the GOP nomination, would he consider the former Pennsylvania senator for the number two slot?

"If that were the case, I would think Santorum would be an excellent choice," said Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. "Pennsylvania is a huge swing state and everybody likes to root for a hometown boy. Plus, he would certainly help Romney solidify his support with social conservatives."

Having Santorum as vice president would also help with the Senate as the VP's primary role is to preside over the U.S. Senate when they are in session. While vice presidents typically assume that role only if they are needed to break a tie, Santorum's experience as a former senator would serve him well on Capitol Hill.

At a mid-day press conference on Monday, the Romney campaign turned their attention from Gingrich to Santorum now that the focus is on Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri. Santorum is gaining ground in those states and Romney knows that if he is to continue his recent roll he must defeat Santorum as easily as he did Gingrich in Florida and Nevada.

Former Minnesota Gov. and GOP hopeful Tim Pawlenty spoke on behalf of Romney on a Monday conference call and criticized Santorum for a "long history of earmarks and pork-barrel spending."

"Rick Santorum is a nice guy, but he is simply not ready to be president," Pawlenty said. "Plus, he wants Minnesota conservatives to believe he's as conservative as they are, but he's not. As a U.S. senator, he was a leading earmarker and pork-barrel spender. He described himself as 'very proud' of the billions of dollars in pork-barrel projects he championed, and promised to defend the wasteful spending."

Some may see this recent swipe as a sign Romney would not consider Santorum as a running mate.

"Just because Romney is criticizing Santorum doesn't mean he won't consider him for a VP slot," said Hayes. "What the Romney camp is trying to do is keep Santorum in his place – to let me know he's not going to get close to the lead dog. Once that is determined, he'll start playing nice with Santorum."

"Remember, Reagan and [George H.W.] Bush couldn't stand each other prior to the 1980 campaign and Kennedy didn't care much for Johnson in 1960. But they needed each other so that's why they ended up together. It's always a marriage of convenience," Hayes explained.

Meanwhile, Louisiana political consultant Mike Bayham feels there is no possibility Romney could chose Santorum. "First, don't assume Romney is as smart as President Kennedy when he realized he needed Johnson. I don't believe Romney would pick a social conservative because he's not comfortable with them," said Bayham.

In the most recent PPD polls, Santorum is leading Romney 29 to 27 percent in Minnesota, although many don't consider these numbers to be as accurate as other state polls. In another PPD poll from Colorado, Romney is leading Santorum 40 to 26 percent.

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/santorum-moving-forward-could-be-considered-for-vp-68793/