- Santorum quits: Romney really is Mr. Inevitable - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial
With Rick Santorum’s withdrawal from the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney is now, finally, who he has been saying he is all along: the inevitable nominee. Romney has been acting the part since the outset of his campaign. Now, with an insurmountable delegate lead, he can play it with conviction.
Santorum’s withdrawal should cause most Republicans to breathe a sigh of relief. It means the end of divisive intraparty campaigning that featured Romney and Santorum and their surrogates firing ugly televised attacks at each other in primary states. Those attack ads and debate barbs undercut both candidates in the minds of voters and have dominated the news for months, to the delight of President Obama and his supporters.
The only Republicans who will lament the end of this primary warfare are the diehard supporters of Santorum or Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul who believe that Romney is not conservative enough on either money or social issues, or they do not trust him because of his Mormon faith. Some of the questions about Romney’s conservatism are legitimate, given his support while governor for the Massachusetts health care reform that became a model for Obamacare and his shifting stance on abortion, to name just two examples.
By contrast, the doubts based on Romney’s Mormon faith are not legitimate, any more than were those of the bigots who distrusted JFK because of his Roman Catholicism. ...
- Focusing the 2012 presidential race - Deseret News Editorial
... For an American public tired of negative campaigning, there isn't much good news in this. ...
- Republicans can now set sights on real fight - Arizona Republic Editorial
... Santorum's candidacy was impressive. He rose above expectations with few resources and little real organization.
He was honest about his message. But it was the wrong message. ...
- Romney's challenge - Los Angeles Times Editorial
With Rick Santorum out of the race, the apparent GOP nominee should outline his vision for America. ...
- Exit, stage right - San Francisco Chronicle Editorial
... The GOP's conservative base might not love Romney, but it's stuck with him. Whether the conservatives like it or not, the 2012 presidential race is a struggle for the center, and the Republican with the best chance to seize it has emerged victorious.
- Santorum's out, so Romney's in - Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial
... Now that Romney doesn't have to fear the barbs of his more conservative opponents, maybe he will own up to the similarities between the Affordable Care Act fashioned by the Obama administration and the Massachusetts health-care reform law that he and that state's legislature devised. ...
- Relief that Rick Santorum's run has ended - Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger Editorial
It is a relief that Rick Santorum has left the presidential race. The fact that he lasted this long is a scary reminder that our politics remain dangerously polarized. If a man like Santorum were to make it to the White House, the nation would finally have the culture war that conservatives like him seem so determined to provoke. ...
- Romney's women woes. Hint: They like guys who listen - Clarence Page, The Chicago Tribune
And a round-up of punditry, curated by Andrew Sullivan's Dish.