Finally, nearly three weeks after he dropped out of the Republican presidential race, Rick Santorum will meet with Mitt Romney Friday at an undisclosed location in Pittsburgh to begin the peace process.
This could get awkward: Santorum, the final serious threat to Romney’s nomination, had scathing things to say about him, including calling him the “worst possible person to put up” against President Obama. (He was arguing that Romney, who had a similar program as governor of Massachusetts, could not provide contrast on the issue of repealing “Obamacare.”)
Santorum advisers have said not to expect an immediate endorsement, though it’s a gracious symbolic gesture on Romney’s part to hold the parley in Santorum’s home town – and the presumed nominee has scheduled a campaign event at a cement factory, which could provide a venue for the traditional falling on the sword.
Advisers to the former Pennsylvania senator, a hero to social conservatives, say he just wants to make sure that the concerns of his constituency – he won 11 states – are heard and honored by the victor. Santorum strategist John Brabender has said his man also wants hard assurances that Romney would make repealing the Obama health program a top priority.