I’m just going to take a wild guess and say that Newt Gingrich might agree with this concept — but have issues with the order. Newsmax interviewed Rick Santorum yesterday and discussed the strategy of choosing a running mate. Santorum told Newsmax that he wants a “strong and principled conservative” who has been “tested” and can stand up to the rigors of the job in case the unthinkable happens.  And Santorum thinks he might have found a pretty good candidate for the job — coincidentally campaigning in the same states as Santorum himself:

Saying he’d look for a “strong and principled conservative” as a running mate should he win the Republican presidential nomination, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum tells Newsmax that he certainly would consider rival Newt Gingrich for that vital role.

When asked if he would consider the former House Speaker as number two on his ticket, Santorum said Gingrich had been “tested” by the bruising GOP race and that makes him an attractive vice presidential candidate.

Santorum tells Newsmax that his choice would be a core conservative who is “willing to stand up and fight for the things that I believe in.”

“My principal and only criterion for vice president is to make sure that I have someone that I have confidence that if something should happen to me that they could carry on and do what I promised the people of America I would try to do,” he said.

It’s an interesting thing to say as both men attempt to push the other out of the race.  Gingrich is trying to hang on with his Southern strategy, although the Rasmussen poll from earlier today shows a dead heat in Alabama.  Normally, the pressures of this strategy would set both men against each other, and this kind of commentary would undermine that message if Santorum felt that Gingrich’s Southern strategy could work.  This might be a subtle jab at Gingrich’s chances of success, or a way for Santorum to attract some of Gingrich’s followers in Alabama and Mississippi by promising to consider him as VP, or a little of both.

It won’t happen, of course, but it’s interesting to speculate on what would happen if Gingrich bowed out and endorsed Santorum for a slot on the ticket — or the other way around.  The last presidential candidate I recall who made that kind of decision on running mates before the convention was Ronald Reagan in 1976, and it backfired on him at the convention when Reagan picked Richard Schweiker in order to attract liberals and centrists to his banner.  Either way, a consolidation of this sort would be bad news for Romney, but so unlikely given the personalities involved that its only value is fantasy-politics fun.