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Romney camp to Santorum: You're only helping Obama

A day after yesterday's "Etch A Sketch" gaffe, the Romney campaign is all but calling for Rick Santorum to get out of the race, arguing that his candidacy is only helping President Obama's re-election chances.

"Each day Sen. Santorum continues to march up this steep hill of improbability is a day we lose to unite in our effort as Republicans to defeat President Obama," Romney Political Director Rich Beeson campaign says in a memo describing Santorum's difficult path to winning the GOP nomination.

"So as Sen. Santorum continues to drag out this already expensive, negative campaign it is clear that he is becoming the most valuable player on President Obama's team."

After Super Tuesday, the Romney campaign began making this math argument about Santorum's chances. But this memo is the furthest the campaign has gone in essentially calling for Santorum to exit the race.

Here's the Beeson memo:

TO:  Interested Parties
FROM: Rich Beeson, Political Director
SUBJECT: Rick Santorum – President Obama’s MVP
DATE: March 22, 2012

Governor Romney’s resounding victories in Illinois and Puerto Rico this past week have offered even greater clarity about where the race stands today.  Here are a few takeaways:

Of the 74 delegates awarded in the past week, Governor Romney won all but 13 (100% of the delegates in Puerto Rico and 75% of the delegates at stake in Illinois).

•    Now leading by more than 300 delegates, Governor Romney continues to double Senator Santorum’s delegate total.

•    Governor Romney has now secured more than 50% of the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

•    In order for Senator Santorum to secure the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination, he must win 70% of all remaining delegates.

•    Governor Romney has earned nearly 40% of the 10.2 million votes cast in the primary; 1.3 million more people have voted for Governor Romney than Senator Santorum.

•    In the 11 contests that followed Super Tuesday, Senator Santorum not only failed to make up any ground on Governor Romney’s delegate lead, he actually fell behind by 61 more delegates.

The remaining contests offer no path to 1,144 for Senator Santorum, a fact which even he has acknowledged.  Each day Senator Santorum continues to march up this steep hill of improbability is a day we lose to unite in our effort as Republicans to defeat President Obama.  So as Senator Santorum continues to drag out this already expensive, negative campaign it is clear that he is becoming the most valuable player on President Obama’s team.