Rick Santorum Is Sticking It Out, Wisconsin Win or No

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MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 22:  Republican presidential candidates former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (L) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney sing the national anthem at a debate sponsored by CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona at the Mesa Arts Center February 22, 2012 in Mesa, Arizona. The debate is the last one scheduled before voters head to the polls in Michigan and Arizona's primaries on February 28 and Super Tuesday on March 6.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Photo: Ethan Miller/2012 Getty Images

With only two days to go until the Wisconsin primary, Republican leaders are continuing their rush to endorse Mitt Romney. Senator Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan got in line behind the candidate this week. Now, in a Sunday morning appearance on Meet the Press, freshman Wisconsin senator (and tea party favorite) Ron Johnson has followed suit:

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I never did intend to endorse anybody, but I’ve had the opportunity to meet with Gov. Romney over the last couple weeks, had long phone conversations with him,” Johnson said. “I’ve come away from those conversations fully convinced that Gov. Romney is the person to lead our party, to lead our nation.”

However, despite mounting pressure from his own party to back out, Rick Santorum shows no signs of being ready to — in the words of Kenny Rogers via George H.W. Bush, who also endorsed Romney this week — “fold ‘em.” Santorum addressed the Rubio and Ryan endorsements thus: “Everybody’s entitled to a mistake in their life … [They’re] pretty young. They’ll recover from it.” (Bush and Johnson are both kind of old, and presumably will not.) Speaking in Wisconsin yesterday, he told reporters, “What I find out is that most endorsements are worth one vote.” 

However, despite mounting pressure from his own party to back out, Rick Santorum shows no signs of being ready to — in the words of Kenny Rogers via George H.W. Bush, who also endorsed Romney this week — “fold ‘em.” Santorum addressed the Rubio and Ryan endorsements thus: “Everybody’s entitled to a mistake in their life … [They’re] pretty young. They’ll recover from it.” (Bush and Johnson are both kind of old, and presumably will not.) Speaking in Wisconsin yesterday, he told reporters, “What I find out is that most endorsements are worth one vote.” 

Today, during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, the candidate emphasized that he was still looking forward to May’s contests in the conservative South (Texas, Arkansas, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky), “great states, where we are ahead in every poll.” And, he pointed out, “This race isn’t even at half time yet, we haven’t even selected half of the delegates yet. Gov. Romney isn’t even halfway to the magic number.” (That’s 1,144.) May is also when Santorum’s “must-win” home state of Pennsylvania votes.