The governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley, voted for Rick Santorum today — but he’s careful to note that it wasn’t an endorsement, despite the Santorum campaign’s efforts to cast it as one without outright saying so.
The campaign sent out an email to reporters the same way it would for a big endorsement, with the subject line “ALABAMA GOVERNOR ROBERT BENTLEY CASTS HIS VOTE FOR RICK SANTORUM.” In the release, Santorum is quoted saying “I am honored to have Governor Bentley’s support.” They also sent out a tweet featuring a picture of the governor and Santorum together.
But judging by Bentley’s response, he didn’t view the vote as much of an endorsement. He writes he has “chosen not to publicly endorse a candidate” and that he “will fully support the Republican nominee chosen by the people.”
(h/t Alex Pappas)
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This seems to be splitting hairs: I’ll vote for Santorum but I don’t endorse him?
No, I get the idea that he doesn’t wish to be seen as encouraging others to vote for Santorum, but he must realize that, by not keeping his vote secret, he has, de facto, endorsed the man.