Elections 2012: Rick Santorum Drops Out of the Presidential Race [Video]

Rick Santorum announced Tuesday that he will suspend his presidential campaign, all but putting an end to the Republican primary.

Having bad results in the polls and facing the prospect of a defeat in his home state of Pennsylvania, Mr Santorum used Gettysburg, the site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, to announce his decision to drop out of the presidential race.

“We made a decision to get into this race at our kitchen table, against all the odds, and we made a decision over the weekend that while this presidential race is over for me, and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting,” Santorum said during an address in Gettysburg, Pa.

In his official message the former candidate revealed that he and his family had made the decision to enter the race during a discussion over the kitchen table, and that it was similarly a family decision to suspend the campaign. He recounted the nearly yearlong campaign, The Los Angeles Times writes.

“It was a love affair for me, going from state to state and seeing the differences, but seeing the wonderful, wonderful people of this country,” he said.

The Santorum’s announcement came just after his daughter Bella left the hospital. Bella, 3, was born with Trisomy 18, a rare chromosomal disorder that makes her susceptible to illnesses such as pneumonia.

Santorum was considered the only candidate who potentially could prevent Mitt Romney from winning the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the GOP nomination.

Numerous polls showed Republican voters viewed Romney as not only the inevitable nominee, but also the candidate who had the best chance of defeating President Obama in November.

As Reuters claims, Santorum clawed his way to the top of the Republican race and won the first nominating contest in Iowa by a whisker. His influence forced the issues of birth control and the role of Christianity in public life to the forefront of the campaign.

“Over and over again we were told ‘Forget it, you can’t win.’ We were winning, but in a different way, we were touching hearts, we were raising issues that frankly a lot of people didn’t want to have raised,” he said at a news conference at a hotel near the Civil War battlefield site of Gettysburg.

A few minutes after Santorum announced his decision, the Romney campaign put out a statement commending their former rival.

“Senator Santorum is an able and worthy competitor, and I congratulate him on the campaign he ran. He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation,” Mr Romney said.

“We both recognise that what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity.”

Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley reported: “Governor Romney has called Rick and asked for a meeting to discuss an endorsement, but we will see how that goes in the next couple days.”

“Mr. Santorum brought excitement to the race, and helped the GOP mobilize voters earlier in the season. Now much of the electorate will tune out until the fall. His delegates will now be open at the convention, but will likely support Mitt Romney,” Hunter College Political Science Professor Jamie Chandler said.

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