The Washington Times - April 11, 2012, 10:29AM

Mitt Romney predicted Wednesday that Republicans will unite behind his presidential bid because they will be so eager to defeat President Obama in November.

“I think you see our party, and you will see our party, more united that it’s been in a long time,” the former Massachusetts governor and presumptive GOP nominee said on Fox News. “I think President Obama in some respects is one of the reasons our party will be so united.”


Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s exit from the race on Tuesday cleared Mr. Romney’s path to the GOP’s nomination, but did nothing to answer the question of whether those voters who had been backing him, and those that have backed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich or Texas Rep. Ron Paul, will now support Mr. Romney.

In 2004 Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, faced a similar situation and his party united around him because of its vehement opposition to then-President George W. Bush.

But some GOP strategists say this year is different for Republicans, who are still facing an internal fight over the legacy of Mr. Bush, who oversaw two wars, ballooning debt and the creation of a new entitlement program, Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, that was tacked onto the deficit.