'Oops, Just Kidding' Endorsers: Puerto Rican Sen. Oreste Ramos Rescinds Santorum Support
As America takes a second look at its GOP options, these endorsers are too.
March 14, 2012 -- intro: As America takes a second look at its presidential options, so too are some high-profile endorsers. From an Ohio attorney general to a Puerto Rican senator, Republican politicians are doing a double-take and preferring the greener grass of another campaign.
If support for a politician was viewed like support for a policy, some of these support swappers would have earned themselves that ever-dreaded title of "flip-flopper." Luckily for them, changing your mind amid the rollercoaster that is a presidential election is long-established, little-criticized practice.
But for others, once their top pick failed to make it all the way to the nomination, they, like many of the former-candidates' supporters, opted to back the party nominee instead.
Here's a look at some of the "Oops, just kidding" endorsers and fair-weather supporters who have re-gifted their support throughout the past two presidential primaries races.
quicklist: 1category: Rescinded Rick Santorum Endorsementtitle: Oreste Ramostext:Rick Santorum is the only GOP candidate that made the trek down to Puerto Rico to woo Republican voters the U.S. territory before its GOP primary next week. But rather than increase the number of delegates pledging to support him, Santorum has scared at least one away.
Former Puerto Rican Sen. Oreste Ramos announced Thursday that he was rescinding his support for Santorum after the presidential candidate said Puerto Rico would have to adopt English as its primary language if the territory were to ever gain statehood.
"Although such a requirement would be unconstitutional, and also would clash with our sociological and linguistic reality, as a question of principle I cannot back a person who holds that position," Oreste said, according to the San Juan newspaper Vocero. "As a Puerto Rican and Spanish-speaking U.S. citizen, I consider the position of Mr. Santorum offensive."
ABC's Matt Jaffe contributed to this report.
quicklist: 1category: From Mitt Romney to John McCaintitle: Rick Santorumtext: Four years before he began seeking his own GOP endorsements, Rick Santorum threw his support behind his now-bitter rival Mitt Romney.
Days before Super Tuesday in 2008, Santorum, who was then fresh off a devastating Senate re-election loss, endorsed Romney as "the clear conservative candidate." Santorum recorded a pro-Romney robo-call that blasted the former governor's opponent John McCain as not having the "temperament and leadership ability" to be president.
Santorum's endorsement came a mere seven days before Romney suffered crippling losses in the 21-state Super Tuesday voting spree and subsequently dropped out of the presidential race.
Before endorsing Romney, Santorum said he would pick anyone but John McCain in the GOP primary fight because he did not agree with his fellow senator "on hardly any issues."
One month later, after McCain secured the Republican nomination, Santorum published an Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer endorsing McCain and touting the reasons why he should be the next president.
"He is someone who is going to govern as a reformer, as a Maverick who is going to shake up Washington in ways that I believe need to be shaken up," Santorum said in a 2008 video unearthed by Buzzfeed.
"He is also going to govern from the center-right which I think is where the American public is and where he can win this election from," Santorum said.
quicklist: 2category: From Jon Huntsman to Mitt Romneytitle: Tom Ridgetext: After former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge's preferred candidate, Jon Huntsman, dropped out of the race, he took more than two months of breathing room before throwing his support behind Mitt Romney.
Whereas Huntsman had the "judgment, the temperament and the vision to lead America," Ridge said that Mitt Romney has the "experience" and "extraordinary set of skills" to be "precisely what the country needs."
Ridge officially switched his support to Romney Wednesday, hoping to give the former Massachusetts governor a boost in next month's Pennsylvania primary and snubbing Romney's chief rival Rick Santorum, who represented Ridge's home state of Pennsylvania in the Senate for 12 years.
quicklist: 3category: From Mitt Romney to Rick Santorumtitle: Mike DeWinetext: In a rare moment of candor from a politician, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told the nation that he "was wrong," wrong to support Mitt Romney that is. The former Ohio senator retracted the Romney endorsement he made in October and instead put his weight behind Rick Santorum.
"To be elected president, you have to do more than tear down your opponents," DeWine said in a February statement. "You have to give the American people a reason to vote for you — a reason to hope — a reason to believe that under your leadership, America will be better. Rick Santorum has done that. Sadly, Governor Romney has not."
DeWine's endorsement swap came the week after Santorum posted a three-state primary sweep in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.
Romney went on to win DeWine's home state of Ohio despite the attorney general's change of heart.
quicklist: 4category: From Michele Bachmann to Ron Paultitle: Kent Sorensontext: Timing can be everything in a presidential endorsement and in the case of Iowa State Sen. Kent Sorenson his change-of-heart endorsement could not have come at a worse time for then-presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.
Sorenson, Bachmann's top Iowa adviser, jumped ship to support Ron Paul just days before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus in early January.
"The fact is, there is a clear top tier in the race for the Republican nomination for president, both here in Iowa and nationally," Sorenson said while announcing his support swap. "Ron Paul is easily the most conservative of this group."
But Bachmann did not let her Iowa campaign co-chair leave gracefully. The Minnesota congresswoman accused Sorenson of being paid off by the Paul campaign and demanded that Paul "answer for its actions."
"Kent campaigned with us earlier this afternoon and went immediately afterward to a Ron Paul event and announced he is changing teams," Bachmann said shortly after Sorenson's announcement. "Kent said to me yesterday that 'everyone sells out in Iowa, why shouldn't I,' then he told me he would stay with our campaign."
But stay he did not.
Bachmann went on to finish last place out of the six GOP candidates that competed in the Iowa caucus. She dropped out of the GOP race shortly thereafter.
quicklist: 5category: From Hillary Clinton to Barack Obamatitle: John Lewistext: As one of the foremost civil rights leaders still fighting for racial equality in America, Georgia Rep. John Lewis' endorsement was heavily scrutinized during the 2008 election, the first presidential election in U.S. history where an African-American candidate had a good shot and winning the White House.
Early on in the fierce Democratic primary battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Lewis controversially endorsed his longtime friend Clinton. Four months later, the Georgia congressman switched his endorsement to Obama, citing mounting pressure from his Atlanta-area constituents.
"Something's happening in America, something some of us did not see coming," Lewis said, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. "Barack Obama has tapped into something that is extraordinary. It's a movement. It's a spiritual event. It's amazing what's happening."
"Sometimes, you have to be on the right side of history," Lewis added.
Former Democratic National Committee chairman Joe Andrews and the late Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., also regifted their endorsements in the Obama-Clinton Democratic primary. Both politicians decided to change their endorsements in May, months after Lewis made his switch and as it became clearer that Obama would lock up the nomination.