Marco Rubio sounds worried. So do Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan.
Their candidate, Mitt Romney, is losing to President Barack Obama. The GOP primary is becoming “counterproductive.”
So when the three Republicans endorsed Romney over the past two weeks, it wasn’t so much about jockeying for a vice-presidential slot on Romney’s ticket. Their underlying goal was more fundamental: Stop the primary.
That means stop Rick Santorum.
The former Pennsylvania senator has little chance of winning the nomination. But his ability to damage Romney and the Republican National Convention in Tampa is real. Nothing says Tea Party like wrecking the establishment’s tea party.
Santorum has pledged to take his candidacy to the convention. So has Newt Gingrich.
"They are saying the only way they can win this race is by having a floor fight in Tampa in August," Senator Rubio said Wednesday of the “recipe for disaster” on Fox News. " I think that’s a recipe to deliver four more years to Barack Obama. And our country — forget about the Republican Party — our country cannot afford that."
Even before Rubio’s endorsement, Gingrich appeared to be softening his attacks on Romney. He looks like he’s preparing for a graceful exit.
Not Santorum. It’s as if Obama’s campaign is writing Santorum’s attack lines about how Romney is virtually indistinguishable from the president.