The Washington Times Daily - - Politics - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

Love Mitt, sur­ren­der to Mitt: And so goes the ral­ly­ing cry among Repub­li­cans who in­sist that the GOP nom­i­na­tion process end with Mitt Rom­ney as the im­per­fect but in­evitable can­di­date. The party grows ane­mic, the public is vexed — so learn to love Mitt, they say. The press is rush­ing the process. A new CNN poll re­veals that 61 per­cent of Repub­li­cans say Rep. Ron Paul should drop out of the race; 60 per­cent say the same of Newt Gin­grich, though just 39 per­cent think the same of Rick San­to­rum.

Bloomberg News, mean­while, has as­sem­bled a laun­dry list of party heavy­weights who sup­port Mr. Rom­ney and are push­ing to close ranks, end the pri­mary race and just get on with the big­ger bat­tle. The Re­pub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion is, af­ter all, a mere 21 weeks away. The afore­men­tioned list in­cludes the ever ebul­lient Amer­i­can Con­ser­va­tive Union Pres­i­dent Al Car­de­nas, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Rep. Kevin Mccarthy of Cal­i­for­nia.

But wait. Grass-roots folk, “prin­ci­pled” con­ser­va­tives, tea par­ty­ers and value vot­ers still back Mr. San­to­rum de­spite noisy “big name” en­dorse­ments, says long­time con­ser­va­tive maven Richard A. Viguerie, who notes that such pow­er­houses as Gary Bauer, James Dob­son, Vi­sion Amer­ica founder Richard Scar­bor­ough and Michelle Malkin agree with him.

“Rick San­to­rum is no stranger to the con­ser­va­tive move­ment. He is one of us. He walks with us, eats with us, and prays with us. He has cel­e­brated our vic­to­ries and mourned our losses for many years, not just when he wants our votes,” Mr. Viguerie adds. fa­tigue with the war in Afghanistan dur­ing a meet­ing with Cana­dian and Mex­i­can de­fense of­fi­cials in Ot­tawa on Tues­day) “Polls are for dogs.” (Cana­dian De­fense Min­is­ter Peter Mackay, agree­ing with Mr. Panetta)

Al Car­de­nas

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