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NEWS - Former Republican Rival Santorum To Campaign For Romney In Ohio

Former Republican Rival Santorum To Campaign For Romney In Ohio

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Conservative Republican Rick Santorum will campaign for his former presidential rival Mitt Romney in the key swing state of Ohio this week, officials with the Romney campaign said on Monday.

Conservative Republican Rick Santorum will campaign for his former presidential rival Mitt Romney in the key swing state of Ohio this week, officials with the Romney campaign said on Monday.

Santorum, an ex-U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, emerged as Romney's main challenger during their party's state-by-state nominating contest earlier this year, portraying the former Massachusetts governor as not being a true conservative.

He has only campaigned once on behalf of Romney since bowing out of the race and endorsing the White House hopeful.

Romney officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said Santorum would make the appearance in Ohio on Wednesday.

Conservatives have rallied to Romney's cause after he announced on Saturday that he had chosen Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, a darling of conservative Republicans, to be his vice presidential running mate for the Nov. 6 election.

Santorum, who praised Romney's choice of Ryan, says he plans to appear more frequently on Romney's behalf and hopes to boost enthusiasm for the Republican ticket among voters in northern industrial states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana who were attracted to Santorum's social conservatism and focus on revitalizing the manufacturing sector.

"We're trying to do our best through speeches and communicating with our folks, as you heard today, to try to get them excited," Santorum told Reuters in an interview in Waukee, Iowa on Saturday.

Santorum has been invited to speak at the Republican National Convention later this month in Tampa, Florida. His wife Karen also has joined a coalition of women supporting Romney.

During the Republican presidential nomination campaign, Santorum labeled Romney the single worst Republican to go up against President Barack Obama on account of the similarities between Obama's 2010 health reform and Romney's 2006 health insurance restructuring.

When asked by Reuters on Saturday whether he would have a hard time campaigning for Romney, Santorum said, "Yeah, except I come down to the bottom line, which is Barack Obama is not going to repeal this (2010) health plan."

"While Governor Romney and I have differences, they pale in comparison to the differences, what Barack Obama wants to do and what (Romney) has said he wants to do. No, it's not hard for me." (Reporting By Samuel P. Jacobs; Editing by Deborah Charles and Paul Simao)


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