The alliance that never was: Gingrich/Santorum 2012
File this back in the 2012 category. Here is an interesting piece of information regarding the diabolical plot of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum teaming up to defeat Mitt Romney during the 2012 GOP primary. Of course, it didn’t happen, but it was being thoroughly discussed behind the scenes.
Long story short, neither Gingrich or Santorum could agree on which would be the top of the newly-formed ticket if they were to ally in a common cause of dethroning Romney. In short, they both defeated themselves by their own egos.
Report from BusinessWeek:
It’s one of the great untold stories of the 2012 presidential campaign, a tale of ego and intrigue that nearly upended the Republican primary contest and might even have produced a different nominee: As Mitt Romney struggled in the weeks leading up to the Michigan primary, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum nearly agreed to form a joint “Unity Ticket” to consolidate conservative support and topple Romney. “We were close,” former Representative Bob Walker, a Gingrich ally, says. “Everybody thought there was an opportunity.” “It would have sent shock waves through the establishment and the Romney campaign,” says John Brabender, Santorum’s chief strategist.
But the negotiations collapsed in acrimony because Gingrich and Santorum could not agree on who would get to be president. “In the end,” Gingrich says, “it was just too hard to negotiate.”
Romney eked out a three-point win in Michigan on Feb. 28 and was never seriously threatened again. While this type of elaborate scheming is more typical of political thrillers, it was real this time. A year later, many of those who worked to build the Unity Ticket still believe it could have been decisive.
“I was disappointed when Speaker Gingrich ultimately decided against this idea, because it could have changed the outcome of the primary,” Santorum says. “And more importantly, it could have changed the outcome of the general election.”
An interesting read if you enjoy political maneuvering at its finest. Would this have changed anything? Only a time machine would give us the answers but I bet that it wouldn’t have.