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ABC Lectures Rick Santorum: Stop Wasting Your 'Political Capital' and 'Get Out'

Good Morning America analyst Matt Dowd on Wednesday lectured Rick Santorum to "get out" and stop wasting "any little bit of political capital he has left." Depending on which count one looks at, Mitt Romney is currently 489 delegates short of the nomination.

That fact didn't stop Dowd from making his point clear. Over four sentences, he used the phrase "get out" four times, pronouncing, "I think he has to get out because he wants to preserve any little bit of political capital he has left and a voice in the Republican Party."

The same man who, on March 26 slammed conservative states as hypocrites, instructed Santorum, "I think it would be good to get out right now before he loses Pennsylvania. But he has got to try to keep a voice in the party by getting out."

Dowd added, "He's now under intense pressure to get out, because everybody knows Romney's going to be the nominee."

Nine days ago, Dowd, who previously worked as a George W. Bush aide, knocked religious conservatives in regard to the Trayvon Martin shooting: "We want to be a Christian nation and we want to act in a Christian manner, but, oh, by the way, we don't believe in turn the other cheek.

He mocked states such as Florida with strong gun rights laws, noting that they "are also the same states and the same legislatures and the same governors who sort of push for prayer in the school. To me, there's such an irony here."

In a previous segment, Wednesday, reporter John Berman derided Romney, saying of the candidate's victory speech Tuesday night: "It was all Obama-bashing all the time."

A transcript of the April 4 segment, which aired at 7:12am EDT, follows:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to turn to politics now and a brand-new stage in the run for president. With that big sweep last night in Maryland, Washington and Wisconsin, Mitt Romney effectively sewed up the Republican nomination. A point underscored by President Obama who used a major forum yesterday afternoon to launch his first personal attacks on the man he'll be facing in November. It's your voice, your vote and ABC's John Berman has the latest.

JOHN BERMAN: Mark your calendars. Overnight, it started. Big. This now feels like a general election.

MITT ROMNEY: Now, these last few years have been difficult. Made a lot worse by the mistakes and failures of the President's leadership.

BERMAN: Celebrating his wins overnight in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin, Romney made no mention of his Republican rivals. It was all Obama-bashing all the time. Launching a battle over who is more out of touch.

ROMNEY: It's enough to make you think years of flying around on Air Force One, surrounded by an adoring staff of true believers, telling you that you are great and you're doing a great job, it's enough to make you think you might become out of touch with that.

BERMAN: But for the first time in public this year, the President is bashing back. Suggesting that it's Romney and, get this, his vocabulary that is out of touch in support of Republican budget plans. 

BARACK OBAMA: And he even called it marvelous, which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget. It's a word you don't often hear generally.

BERMAN: The President, clearly no fan of Romney or Billy Crystal.

BILLY CRYSTAL: You look marvelous.

BERMAN: Meanwhile, the Obama team unleashed a new negative ad about Romney.

OBAMA AD: Mitt Romney stood with big oil, for their tax breaks.

BERMAN: As for Rick Santorum, the delegate mountain he must climb is almost impossibly high. But overnight, he vowed to fight on.

RICK SANTORUM: And who is ready to charge out of the locker room in Pennsylvania for a strong second half?

BERMAN: Santorum now faces a big decision. The next primary state is Pennsylvania, three weeks away, his home state. He may want to avoid the risk of possibly losing there, George. And right now, the polls show it close.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, John. Let's see what Matt Dowd thinks about all that, quickly. Rick Santorum, has done so well actually, in this whole race. Does he have to get out before risking a loss in his home state?

MATT DOWD: I think he has to get out because he wants to preserve any little bit of political capital he has left and a voice in the Republican Party. He's now under intense pressure to get out, because everybody knows Romney's going to be the nominee. I think it would be good to get out right now before he loses Pennsylvania. But he has got to try to keep a voice in the party by getting out.

STEPHANOPOULOS: President Obama certainly knows Romney's going to be the nominee from that speech yesterday. Mitt Romney going to the exact same forum at noon today. Going to give a blistering speech against the President. It is on right now.

DOWD: Oh, it's totally on. I think we're going to get through Easter. And then the 200-day war starts between the two of these guys. And the funny thing about it, each one is accusing the other of the exact same thing. Being out of touch, being out of the mainstream, and being inauthentic. That's each of their three attacks on each other. The exact same attacks on each other.

STEPHANOPOULOS: See the word that Mitt Romney uses to respond to  marvelous today. Matt Dowd, thanks very much.

-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.