Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, left, speaks as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney listens at the South Carolina Republican presidential candidate debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. (Credit: Pool,AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
(CNN) – One-time GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum danced around the idea of endorsing the party's likely nominee, Mitt Romney, with significant and repeated prodding from CNN's Piers Morgan in a Tuesday interview.
In their first joint interview since the former senator from Pennsylvania suspended his candidacy, Santorum and his wife Karen declined to endorse the former Massachusetts governor, but the former candidate said that he hoped to meet with Romney "in the next week or two."
Two senior advisers to Santorum's campaign told CNN that the meeting with Romney is tentatively scheduled for May 4, and the agenda would likely include the possibility of an endorsement, surrogacy activities, and the role of conservative issues on Romney's platform.
In the interview, the Santorums avoided using the word "endorsement," but acknowledged that Romney would be" the person that's going against Barack Obama."
"Unless I'm mishearing things," Morgan pressed, "you just endorsed Mitt Romney."
"You can call it whatever you want," Santorum replied.
Morgan turned his attention towards Santorum's wife.
"Karen, you know your husband: has he just endorsed Mitt Romney?" Morgan asked.
"Not at this point, no," she said. "We're working through it. We're talking about it."
But what, Morgan queried, is the difference between saying "he's the right guy for the job," and making an endorsement?
Santorum replied that Romney "is going to be the Republican nominee. I'm going to be for the Republican nominee. We're going to do what we can to beat Barack Obama."
Since leaving the race on April 10, Santorum said he has been "trying to decompress a bit, spend time with our family," as well as "get my bills paid, get my taxes filed."