Mitt Romney said today he was surprised by Rick Santorum's departure from the race but predicted he would remain a strong voice in national politics, reports AP. The two spoke earlier in the day, and Romney issued a statement calling him a "worthy competitor" and an "important voice in our party," notes Politico. "This has been a good day for me," he told supporters in Delaware. (The AP described him as "buoyant.") Santorum notably did not endorse Romney in his goodbye speech, but said he remained committed to defeating President Obama.
- VP list? A woman in the Delaware audience asked Romney about possible running mates. "I do not even have a list," he said. "I can't tell you when, and I can't tell you who."
- Santorum's delegates: What happens to Santorum's delegates, which total 281 by AP's count? As the Washington Post explains, 84 came from states with nonbinding contests, meaning those delegates can vote for anyone. The remaining 197 are required to vote for Santorum at the convention—unless he chooses to release them before then.
- Ron Paul: “Congratulations to Senator Santorum on running such a spirited campaign," said a statement. "Dr. Paul is now the last—and real—conservative alternative to Mitt Romney." He pledged to continue through to the Tampa convention, as did Newt Gingrich.
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