Santorum super-PAC calls on Gingrich to leave the GOP race

A super-PAC that supports Rick Santorum on Wednesday called for Newt Gingrich to withdraw from the presidential race, arguing his candidacy has become a “hindrance” to conservatives looking to take down Mitt Romney.

"Based on his electoral performance last night and his out-of-step record, it is time for Newt Gingrich to exit the Republican nominating process," said Stuart Roy, an adviser for the the Red, White, and Blue Fund.

The call came the morning after Santorum scored Super Tuesday victories in Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota, along with a close second-place finish to Mitt Romney in the coveted Ohio primary. Gingrich, meanwhile, won only his home state of Georgia.

Roy said that if Gingrich had not been in the race on Super Tuesday, Santorum would probably have beaten Romney in Ohio. 

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"With Gingrich exiting the race it would be a true head-to-head race and conservatives would be able to make a choice between a consistent conservative in Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney," Roy continued in the statement. "For instance, with Gingrich out of the race, Santorum would have won both Ohio and Michigan. Newt has become a hindrance to a conservative alternative."

A staffer for Red, White and Blue said the group is considering ramping up its campaign to get Gingrich out of the race, potentially with more “online efforts.”

Santorum and his supporters have increasingly argued that the Pennsylvania senator could benefit from Gingrich ending his campaign. On Monday, Santorum predicted that he would be "in a very, very good place to win the nomination" in a narrowed field. 

Santorum adviser John Brabender, speaking Wednesday on Laura Ingraham's radio show, declined to call for Gingrich’s withdrawal from the race, but said the former House Speaker's support would be welcomed. 

"It's interesting. Many more percentage of Gingrich's vote goes to Santorum if he's not there, than Santorum votes go to Gingrich, and so clearly, and this is part of our narrative today, if we really want to take on Romney successfully, we need to have a clear shot," Brabender said. 

"I think it is very important that there is a line in the sand now, where everyone gets serious and says we're going to unite behind one candidate," Brabender said. "I think Rick Santorum has proven over and over again he's that candidate."

Brabender added that the Santorm campaign would welcome Gingrich’s support and advice.

"We would love to have his supporters, but we would also love to have him," Brabender said.

— This story was updated at 12:25 p.m.

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