All of the choices that remain are deeply flawed for the staunch small-government conservative. Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Paul et. al. have their positives and negatives. Despite what their true believers will foist upon you, none of them are perfect, and some of them are flat-out indefensible without extreme gyrations of logic.
But this has been true since the founding of the Republic.
What’s important now is to send to Washington, D.C. representatives who will protect us from whoever wins the Presidential election, whether it be Obama or a GOP candidate. Granted, a conservative veto-proof majority in the House and Senate is not perfect protection against a big-government POTUS, but it’s better than nothing.