Republican governors and other party elders grew so alarmed by Mitt Romney’s inability to defeat Rick Santorum mid-way through the Republican primaries that they secretly hatched a “white-knight scenario” to draft a savior candidate, according to a new book.
Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour and then-Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels tried to draft a new candidate into the race in the run-up to the Michigan primary in February, when a resurgent Santorum was beating Romney in a string of contests, according to “Double Down,” a book about the 2012 campaign by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.
The account underscores the deep doubts that many GOP establishment figures harbored about Romney, and it details for the first time their actions to draft a savior to step in as the party’s standard bearer. These Republicans calculated that a late entrant could defeat Romney or Santorum in mega-state contests later in the spring and then successfully wage a floor fight at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.