'Truly Frightened' Santorum: Conservatives Will Be 'Crippled' by Romney Nomination

U.S. conservative presidential candidate Rick Santorum announces he is suspending his bid to win the Republican nomination during a news conference in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania April 10, 2012. (Photo: REUTERS/Mark Makela)

Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign last week, but his supporters in Iowa received a late-arriving fundraising letter that warns of the dangers of choosing Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee.

The letter, printed in full by the Des Moines Register, apparently arrived in mailboxes in Iowa on Monday, and calls on supporters to provide immediate help by donating $35 or more toward the Santorum campaign. The former Pennsylvania senator states that he has already won 11 states and is approaching a crucial stretch of primaries in conservative regions where he expects to win an even greater number of delegates and overtake Mitt Romney, or the "Massachusetts Moderate" as Santorum calls him.

"It truly frightens me to think what'll happen if Mitt Romney is the nominee," the letter states, and goes on to insinuate that Romney will be unable to challenge any of President Barack Obama's major policies.

"My friend, Republicans and conservatives will be crippled by a nominee who presents zero contrast with Barack Obama on the major issues of this election. Any attempt by Mitt Romney to attack President Obama's positions on healthcare, energy policy, social issues, or the economy will be easily neutralized," the letter continues.

Santorum has not officially endorsed Romney for president, and speculation surrounds why the letter was received so late by Iowa residents.

"Or, did Santorum, who is still raising money and possibly not quite ready to come to grips with his loss, send this wording out deliberately?" questioned the Des Moines Register.

Steve Deace, a conservative radio talk show host, suggested that it might have been more than a simple mistake.

"One [explanation], this is simple campaign ineptitude. Two, there is conflict between Santorum's personal convictions and those within his campaign who would like their careers extended by Romney come the general election," Deace expressed. "Three, this is simply an attempt to leverage more out of Romney by reminding him his base likes him less than they liked McCain, and four, all of the above."

The fundraising letter ends by warning conservatives that even after Romney spent $60 million to win over America's heartland, he failed to do so, which shows his weakness in this area. The letter, however, also makes it quite clear that the Santorum campaign was running out of time, and that a delay in response of even a few days would be "too late."

A Santorum spokeswoman explained that the mailer was sent out before Santorum quit the GOP race last Tuesday, April 10.

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