Rick Santorum Says He’s Open To Being Mitt Romney’s Vice President

Mar 26, 2012 3:00pm

Despite the bickering and criticisms emanating from the two campaigns, Rick Santorum said in an interview Monday that he is open to being on the Republican ticket as Mitt Romney’s vice president if he secures the nomination this August.

“Of course. I mean, look. I would do in this race as I always say, this is the most important race in our country’s history. I’m going to do everything I can. I’m doing everything I can. I’m out there. In the last 10 months, I’ve had five days off. Two for Thanksgiving, and three for Christmas. I’ve been working every single day. My wife and my kids, we’re just busting our tail, because we know their future and all of our childrens’ future is at stake in this election and I don’t want to be the guy who has to sit with my granddaughter, 20 years from now, and tell stories about an America where people once were free. I don’t want to have that conversation,” Santorum said in an interview with CBN’s David Brody.

Asked if he’s keeping his options open, Santorum responded, “I’ll do whatever is necessary to help our country.”

Romney, who is repeatedly asked about his VP choices on the campaign trail, always waves off the question as “too presumptuous” until he is the nominee.

While he consistently rails against Romney on the stump, he said he genuinely likes Mitt Romney and respects the dedication and opportunity he can offer the country.

“My conversations with Mitt are cordial. One of the things I’ve really kept, this is not about personal relationships, it’s about differences on policy, differences on vision for the country, and I try to keep it not personal. And, I like Mitt Romney, I think he will make a great contribution to this country, I hope it’s at some capacity within my administration in the future, but I have no personal problem with Mitt, and wish him the very best,” said in the interview.”

Santorum told Brody that it is “increasingly likely” the GOP nominating contest will go to the convention and argued that the establishment wants to nominate a Romney who is incapable of challenging President Obama on healthcare, a quality he believes Romney lacks due to the healthcare plan he implemented as governor of Massachusetts.

“The Republican establishment in this city wants to nominate somebody that will take away that issue, because he supported a mandate, the same mandate in Massachusetts and when the debate was going on in 2009, he actually came out and argued for Barack Obama to impose the same mandate in Washington DC. He advocated for this unconstitutional mandate that Republicans universally, and 75% of Americans believe is the wrong approach. That’s why I’ve said that Mitt Romney is uniquely disqualified in this race, from taking on Barack Obama in the biggest, most central issue, on the economy, and on freedom in this country.”

Santorum additionally warned of the perils of ignoring evangelicals and Tea Party activists and depending solely on the establishment to win the nomination.

“Romney has made a decision is he is running as the establishment candidate in a primary, and you heard him say they’re going to hit the re-set button, take out the Etch-A-Sketch, shake up their policies and run as a whole new candidate. And that candidate is not going to excite the conservative base, whether it’s Tea Party or Evangelical and he’s just saying, look, they have no choice but to vote for me. They’re not going to vote for Obama, so they’ll come out and vote for me, and I’ll go after moderate voters. We’ve seen in past elections, you need energy, you need enthusiasm, you need volunteers, you need excitement, and when you don’t have that, you don’t win elections.”

ABC News’ Emily Friedman contributed to this report.

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