Gingrich and Santorum almost formed "Unity Ticket" in 2012

The two presidential candidates secretly plotted to try to overtake Romney by pulling away conservative votes

Published March 22, 2013 1:10PM (EDT)

During the 2012 Republican primary, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were "close" to forming a "Unity Ticket" as a way to shore up conservative votes and crater support for Mitt Romney.

Josh Green from Bloomberg Businessweek reports:

“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.”

“I was disappointed when Speaker Gingrich ultimately decided against this idea, because it could have changed the outcome of the primary,” Santorum told Green. “And more importantly, it could have changed the outcome of the general election.”

Read the full report here.

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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2012 Elections Conservatives Mitt Romney Newt Gingrich Republicans