Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Santorum Endorsed by Former Romney Backer Mike DeWine of Ohio Santorum Endorsed by Former Romney Backer Mike DeWine of Ohio

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member or subscriber? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Campaign 2012

Santorum Endorsed by Former Romney Backer Mike DeWine of Ohio

The attorney general's support could help Santorum win a key state on Super Tuesday.

+

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Friday that he would support Rick Santorum during a news conference outside the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio.(AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum won a key endorsement on Friday from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who had earlier backed Mitt Romney. The Ohio primary is one of the big prizes on Super Tuesday, March 6.

DeWine endorsed Romney last October, saying that his business background and experience running for office would serve him well in a campaign sure to be about jobs. “I think he has both the ability to unite the party and have general-election appeal,” DeWine said at the time.

 

On Friday, DeWine said he'd had sleepless nights about his decision but had concluded Santorum was the better candidate. "You have to give the American people a reason to vote for you -- a reason to hope -- a reason to believe that, under your leadership, America will be better," he said in a statement. "Rick Santorum has done that. Sadly, Governor Romney has not."

Like Santorum, DeWine is a social conservative with a large family. Also like Santorum, he was a two-term senator who lost reelection in 2006. Santorum, who lost his race in Pennsylvania by 17 percentage points, hinted at the coming endorsement on Friday morning at a rally in Shelby Township, Mich., with a reference to their common bond.

"Everybody lost in 2006. You know, Mike DeWine in Ohio lost by 15 points in the state of Ohio. And by the way, he became the attorney general of Ohio. He came back four years later and won," Santorum said.

 

Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, a Romney backer, dismissed the significance of DeWine's switch. "The most important thing you can get from an endorser is their organization. And frankly, as I understand it, attorney generals don't have that much of a political organization," he told reporters on a conference call.

Sununu also suggested that DeWine abandoned Romney because he was annoyed by a pro-Romney super PAC's ad that cited support by DeWine, Santorum, and former Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania for a bill restoring convicted felons' voting rights.

"I never saw the ad, so I don't know what he's talking about," DeWine said when asked about that at the Santorum endorsement event in Columbus.

At a Santorum campaign event later in the day, DeWine elaborated further on his motivations for switching. "A number of months ago, I endorsed Governor Romney. I did so because I thought, quite candidly, he had the best chance of winning against Barack Obama. I was wrong. I have changed my mind. This campaign, as it has played out, it has become abundantly clear. The governor, while he's a nice person, cannot win in the fall.  It has also become abundantly clear who can, and that's Rick Santorum."

 

 

Rebecca Kaplan contributed contributed to this article.

Comments
comments powered by Disqus
 
MORE NATIONAL JOURNAL
 
 
 
 
Make your Election Night headquarters.
See more ▲
 
Hide