• With: Tim Pawlenty, former Minnesota governor

    This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 5, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": To the campaign trail. There's a new poll that puts Mitt Romney five points ahead of Rick Santorum in the former senator's own home state of Pennsylvania. Santorum is currently taking a four-day break as Governor Romney looks for that knockout punch, holding two events in Pennsylvania today.

    Former GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, who says it is actually time for Rick to just let go. I suspect, Governor, that if the polls keep looking like this, he will let go. He will let go. What do you say?

    TIM PAWLENTY (R), FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR: Well, it is Pennsylvania.

    And, naturally, we on the Romney campaign -- and I think most observers would expect Rick Santorum to win his home state. The polls bounce around a little bit. The one that you highlight is promising. But we still expect Rick Santorum to win his home state. And if he can’t, that’s a pretty big signal about the state of his campaign.

    But I think it is time more broadly, Neil, for him to get real. He is not going to be the Republican nominee. Mitt Romney is. And by continuing his campaign in the manner that he is, he is delaying the day where the conservative movement, the Republican Party can better unify and get better prepared to defeat Barack Obama.

    CAVUTO: But don't you think that risks looking bad, Governor, to sort of force a player out of the race or to try to strongly urge a player out of the race? After all, Mitt Romney, he might have the most delegates, in fact, double the delegates that Senator Santorum has, but he is still well shy, that is Governor Romney, of the delegates he needs. So what is the rush?

    PAWLENTY: Well, a couple of things.

    One is Rick Santorum would have to win somewhere around 70 percent of all the remaining delegates to get close to being the nominee. That is simply not going to happen.

    (CROSSTALK)

    CAVUTO: Or he could hope to rob Governor Mitt Romney of clinching the 1,144 he will need by the convention. He could do that. Right?

    PAWLENTY: Well, Mitt Romney is almost certain to get the 1,144. Look, it is not our place to tell people when to get out.

    (CROSSTALK)

    CAVUTO: But you just did. You just did. Right?

    PAWLENTY: Well, if you set aside the spin, it is pretty clear that numerically and practically Mitt Romney is going to be the nominee.

    So then the question becomes, what's the point of the continuation of the Santorum or Newt Gingrich campaigns? If you are interested in not the particulars of those campaigns, but defeating President Obama and uniting the conservative cause, advancing the Republican agenda, and supporting our ultimate and likely nominee, Mitt Romney, the sooner the better.

    CAVUTO: It is interesting -- and maybe I read too much palace intrigue to what is going on here, Governor, but I do notice that the Santorum campaign takes this four-day -- or the senator does -- this four- day break. It's Easter weekend.

    And then he comes out presuming next week ready to fight the battle in Pennsylvania. But back to my earlier point as to the polls and whether he wants to risk the embarrassment of losing in his home state, so the better part of valor might be, all right, I will quit now. Is that what the Romney campaign is kind of hoping for, ease the pressure, but just kind of remind the senator, here’s where you stand in your home state, it’s going to be an uphill battle if you lose your home state, so you see the polls as well as we do, just leave?

    PAWLENTY: Well, it is somewhat different than that.

    We expect Rick Santorum would win Pennsylvania. Like I said earlier, it would be natural for anybody, including us, to look at that and say, well; of course you’re expected to win your home state. If you cannot then it is a pretty significant signal about the strength or weakness of your campaign.

    So Pennsylvania should be won by Rick Santorum and he will have to calculate in his own mind whether he can actually do it or not. And like we said, from the Romney campaign standpoint, we expect him to win Pennsylvania.

    (CROSSTALK)

    CAVUTO: I understand, Governor.

    PAWLENTY: Yes.

    CAVUTO: If he stays in the rates, would he hurt his chances -- you know the governor pretty well -- his running mate chances with Governor Romney, just dragging it out, as you say?

    PAWLENTY: Well, can’t get into the particulars of all that. That would be premature to speculate about positions and slots and the like.

    But obviously the nominee, Mitt Romney, will want to be interested in unifying the party and doing all that he can to get the conservative coalition together and moving in the right direction.

    (CROSSTALK)

    CAVUTO: I understand that. So if Senator Santorum delayed that, Governor Romney wouldn't look favorably in that regard?

    PAWLENTY: Well, that would just be speculative.

    Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had a knock-down/drag-out fight all the way into June, and they turned out to be working colleagues, president and secretary of state. And look at the difference in vision that is at stake, Neil.

    Mitt Romney, standing for balanced budgets and Barack Obama not. Mitt Romney for cutting taxes, Barack Obama for raising them. Mitt Romney for having private sector solutions to health care, Barack Obama government- centric, and down the list. Mitt Romney not spending his whole life in Washington, D.C.

    (CROSSTALK)

    CAVUTO: We can argue each one. They are not all so black and white.

    But you think that the attention and the focus on the administration will be the focus of the Mitt Romney campaign, no matter who is still in the Republican race right from Tampa, right?

    (CROSSTALK)

    PAWLENTY: Yes.

    CAVUTO: OK.

    PAWLENTY: That shift is occurring. That shift is occurring as we speak.