(LATIMES) — Rick Santorum endorsed his onetime rival Mitt Romney in a long email to supporters late Monday night, calling on them to unite behind the cause of defeating President Obama in November.

Santorum, who withdrew from the race last month (and who pointed out in the late-night email that he won 11 states and over 3 million votes), spent many months urging members of his party to back his insurgent effort — arguing that Romney was not sufficiently conservative to stand against Obama in November.

But the two men met for more than an hour in Pittsburgh last Friday for a conversation that the former Pennsylvania senator described as “candid” and “collegial.” Hinting at the hesitation within the Republican Party about the presumed Republican nominee, Santorum said he felt a “deep responsibility” to assess Romney’s commitment to “addressing the issues most important to conservatives, as well as his commitment to ensuring our appropriate representation in a Romney administration.”

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