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Santorum pulls out of presidential race

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 14:47 EDT
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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) announces that he's finally pulling out of the Republican presidential race. Screenshot via CNN.
 
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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) announced during a Tuesday news conference that after a prolonged battle for the Republican nomination to the presidency, he would pull out of the race and abandon his bid for the nation’s highest office.

“We made a decision over the weekend that, while this presidential race for us is over for me, and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting,” he told supporters Tuesday afternoon. “We are going to continue to fight for those voices. We are going to continue to fight for those Americans that stood up and gave us that air under our wings that allowed us to accomplish things no political expert could have expected.”

Santorum’s decision to abandon his campaign finally assures that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) will be the Republican nominee and President Barack Obama’s principle political opponent this fall. While Santorum did not mention Romney during his concession speech, an aide added seconds after the conference ended that he would “eventually” get behind the Republican Party’s nominee. Moments later, however, Santorum’s campaign said they would need to discuss the matter with Romney before any endorsement is made.

The former Senator’s campaign was hallmarked by his sometimes radically conservative views — he even promised to ban all same sex marriages and pornography if elected president — which helped earn his candidacy some traction among the more hard-line Christian Republicans, many of whom view Romney as too liberal for their vote, and distrust him due to his Mormon faith.

He was not able to marshal as much support as Romney, however, and was badly trailing him in delegates as of Tuesday. Though in second place more than half-way through the nominating process, Santorum was still coming up nearly 400 delegates behind Romney. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) are still in the race, but neither have a shot at closing the delegate gap before the Republican National Convention, which begins on August 27.

Santorum’s decision came shortly after his 3-year-old daughter Bella fell ill and was hospitalized over the weekend. He said at the press conference that he and his wife were “very concerned” about being “the best parents we could for our children.” Bella was discharged from the hospital on Monday night.

“It’s been a wonderful story after story of people who have come forward,” Santorum said. “…It has been inspiring to me, story after story, that we have been engaged with. Turns out, it really wasn’t my voice that I’ve been communicating. It was your voice.”

Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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