He identified New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the one potential candidate who could possibly overcome the fact that a brokered convention — where the party’s delegates would decide in August who the nominee would be — would in many ways be the ultimate back-room deal, flying in the face of the entire Tea Party ethos.

“He could be the one guy where the Tea Party people, the outsiders, the people who are for turning over the apple baskets, he may be the one where people say, ‘Finally our guy got in the race. Isn’t this good? We’re going to make the establishment take him,'” the GOP leader said.

“I don’t see anybody trying to do anything to affect it yet. But you got to be an idiot. If you’ve ever read a book about how presidents are nominated, you could see this scenario as a possibility,” he added. “People are starting to say, ‘Damn, I thought Mitt could put this together.'”…

There is also talk of former House Speaker Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Santorum having a tacit agreement to let the other focus on geographical areas where they are strongest — the South and Rust Belt respectively — with the overall goal of denying Romney the nomination.