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Romney plans to campaign with Santorum
Sources say Romney wants endorsement quickly from Santorum
Their bitter primary rivalry may seem fresh, but likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney said Wednesday he was looking forward to hitting the campaign trail with former candidate Rick Santorum.
Romney's campaign plans to paint a more unified picture than Santorum himself presented at the speech Tuesday announcing he was suspending his campaign, when he didn't mention Romney.
Sources close to the campaign said Tuesday that Romney wanted an endorsement quickly from Santorum, but Santorum's communications director, Hogan Gidley, said there was no guarantee that would happen after what has been a tough and at times bitter campaign.
Romney made no allusions to strife in his interview Wednesday, saying he would work with his fellow Republican toward the single goal of defeating President Barack Obama.
"I expect when I finally become the nominee, and I hope that happens soon, that we'll be campaigning together, we'll be working together," Romney said on Fox News. "We share very much the same beliefs about the course the nation must take and the fact that under this president, America is not going in the right direction."
Romney said he would attempt to attract Santorum's evangelical and socially conservative supporters by leveraging appearances with the former candidate.
"We campaign together and make sure we see these people and get a chance to talk to them about issues that all Americans care about," Romney said. "I think you see our party and you will see our party more united than it's been in a long, long time, in part because President Obama has taken America in such a different course than we have ever gone as a nation before."
Romney, who proclaimed Obama was turning America into a "European social welfare state," said the president's economic policies were particularly punishing to women. Several recent polls have shown Romney facing a serious deficit against Obama when it comes to female voters.
"He's lost 800,000 jobs during his presidency and by the way, do you know what percentage of those jobs lost were lost by women? Over 92 percent of the jobs lost under this president were lost by women. His polices have been really a war on women. And so he wants to divert from that and see if we can't find someone to attack, some scapegoat," Romney said.
Republicans have also been accused of waging a "war on women" for policies Democrats say restrict access to health care, including contraception.
Asked about another polling deficit - the likeability factor - Romney said voters were just beginning to see what kind of man he was. An ABC/Washington post survey released Tuesday showed Obama with a nearly two-to-one advantage over Romney in terms which candidate was more likable.
"We are getting started with a general election campaign and people will get to know me better and they will get to know him better as well and they will look at his record, which ultimately is the record upon which a campaign is going to be waged," Romney said. "But the person I am out of touch with is Barack Obama. I am in touch with the American people."
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