Romney And Santorum To Team Up?
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum battled each other for months, trading attacks over the Massachusetts health care plan, who was the true fiscal conservative and each other's records. Now the one-time foes for the Republican presidential nomination are sitting down Friday in Pittsburgh not to hash over their differences, but instead to get to know each other better and discuss what role Santorum may play in helping Romney. The two had a phone conversation when Santorum suspended his campaign on April 10, and they briefly chatted when they both spoke to the National Rifle Association meeting. Santorum wants to find a "comfort level" about the role "social conservatives, tea party activists and blue-collar Republicans will play in the campaign and in the Romney administration. Santorum wants to hear from Romney's camp whether it will emphasize conservative principles during the general election campaign and in the party's platform. One emphasis for Santorum is health care reform. He hit Romney very hard on the issue during the GOP campaign, calling Romney's Massachusetts plan a blueprint for the Obama administration's initiative. While Romney has repeatedly said he would push to repeal the law, Santorum wants assurances that any new plan pushed by the former governor will not include mandates. Another issue Santorum will raise is his campaign's manufacturing proposal. Santorum hopes to engage Romney in a conversation about the coming general election campaign and share his suggestions about what might work.