Dole: Santorum must soon consider dropping out

By Laurie Kellman

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, March 21 2012 1:20 p.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at Superior Energy in Harvey, La., Wednesday, March 21, 2012.

Gerald Herbert, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — Former senator Bob Dole says GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is "getting close to the point" where he'll have to decide whether to stay in the race for the nomination or drop out.

In a telephone interview Wednesday, Dole told The Associated Press he was speaking from the experience of staying in the 1988 GOP nomination fight too long. Dole said: "As much as you don't want to do it, sometimes you have to face reality."

Dole is a supporter of GOP front-runner Mitt Romney. He says Romney's lead in GOP convention delegates and his handy victory Tuesday in the Illinois primary make overtaking him a longshot for Santorum.

Dole said Santorum's "got a real problem" because Romney will pick up delegates in every race.

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