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Santorum defends late-night email endorsement of Romney

"We decided to put it out late at night so it would be sort of the first thing people would see in the morning," Santorum said to Jay Leno Tuesday night on "The Tonight Show."

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Santorum endorsed Romney in an email sent to supporters at 11 p.m. ET Sunday night. 

Santorum, who exited the presidential race on April 10, acknowledged that he needed time to throw his support behind Romney.

"I think we just needed some time," he said. "You know it was a rough-and-tumble campaign. I can't say it would have been an easy thing the next day to turn around and say, 'Let’s just go forward.' It would have been tough."

Leno noted that Santorum's endorsement was "kind of buried" in the 13th paragraph of the email.

"No, no, no. That's not — I laid out, sort of, the case, and just said, 'Here's sort of what we went through. Here's the discussion. Here's why I decided to do it,' " said Santorum.

"This was a letter to my supporters," he explained.

Click here to read more on the GOP presidential contest at The Hill's GOP12 blog.