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Santorum campaign on hold due to daughter’s illness

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, January 29, 2012 20:14 EDT
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FORT MYERS, Florida — Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum put campaigning in Florida on hold Sunday, as his daughter, Bella, was hospitalized just days before a key primary vote.

Two days before Florida’s winner-takes-all primary, Santorum spent the day in Pennsylvania, where his three year-old was admitted to a Philadelphia children’s hospital.

Bella Santorum was born with a genetic disorder called trisomy 18 — or Edwards syndrome — which results in severe disabilities and abnormalities.

“Due to the heath of his youngest daughter Bella, Rick Santorum will remain with his family today,” campaign spokesperson Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

According to the US National Institutes of Health “many infants with trisomy 18 die within their first month. Five percent to 10 percent of children with this condition live past their first year.”

The Santorum campaign was at pains say that this did not spell the end of his run for the White House, and scheduled some “tele-town hall” meetings between the candidate and Florida voters for later Sunday.

“The campaign will resume the… Florida schedule using surrogates. Rick himself intends to return to Florida and resume the campaign schedule as soon as is possible.”

Santorum won the Republican caucus in Iowa, but has since fared badly.

In Florida, the former senator has not appeared much and is barely avoiding a vote share in single digits according to polls.

That has raised speculation about the future of his campaign.

Were Santorum to drop out Newt Gingrich would hope to draw some of Santorum’s conservative supporters.

Gingrich is currently trailing to frontrunner Mitt Romney in the battle for key state — which is likely to go a long way toward deciding who faces Barack Obama in November.

Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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