Ed Rollins, who served as Michele Bachmann’s campaign manager this summer, says that Rick Santorum made the “smart move” by ending his campaign today.
“He had a tremendous campaign,” Rollins, who also ran Reagan’s ‘84 campaign, remarks. “He came from absolutely nowhere with no expectations, and to be the last man standing and the darling of conservatives was a great tribute for him.” But if he had gone on, Rollins points out, it’s likely he would have acquired more debt — all while fighting for states that he had neither the money nor the organization to likely win.
Santorum also has come out ahead, going from being practically an afterthought as a candidate to one of the last candidates standing. “Rick has basically rehabilitated himself totally, and I think he’s now one of the conservative leaders in the country. He beat out a lot of very significant conservatives in this race,” Rollins observes. “I certainly think his endorsement certainly matters a great deal.”
Still, it’s unlikely that Santorum’s new-found standing will give him a place on Romney’s ticket. Noting that Santorum and Romney had thrown “a lot of rocks … at each other in the course of this primary,” Rollins commented that in the case of picking the vice president, “sometimes you want to pick somebody you’re really comfortable with.”