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Santorum Stops Short of Full Romney Endorsement

By , USA Today - April 25, 2012

Rick Santorum says he wasn't endorsing Mitt Romney, but his words could have sounded like he was giving his former rival his support.

"It's very clear that he's going to be the Republican nominee," Santorum said last night in an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan. "I'm going to be for the Republican nominee. We're going to do everything we can to defeat Barack Obama."

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The former Pennsylvania senator withdrew from the race on April 10, giving Romney essentially a clear path to the GOP nomination. Santorum told Morgan that he'll sit down with some Romney aides today and that he and his wife, Karen, will sit down with Romney "in the next week or two."

Santorum said he tried to be straightforward in talking to voters and in answering questions from the news media, which sometimes got him in trouble. He used a sports analogy to explain his predicament.

"I felt an obligation to answer straight up. I know that sometimes gets you in trouble. A lot of folks in political life pivot when they get those questions," he said. "I was a center in basketball. That was the pivot position, but I wasn't very good at it. I went straight to the basket every time."

Catalina Camia leads the OnPolitics online community and has been at USA TODAY since 2005. She has been a reporter or editor covering politics and Congress for two decades, including stints at The Dallas Morning News and Congressional Quarterly. Follow her at @USATOnPolitics.

USA TODAY's Susan Davis (@DaviSusan), Jackie Kucinich (@jfkucinich) and Fredreka Schouten (@fschouten) also contribute to the OnPolitics blog.

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