Rick Santorum suspends US presidential campaign

 

Rick Santorum: "We are not done fighting"

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has ended his bid for the White House, leaving Mitt Romney as the presumptive nominee.

The former Pennsylvania senator made the announcement at a news conference in the city of Gettysburg.

"While this presidential race is over for me, we are not done fighting," said Mr Santorum, a social conservative.

He had been campaigning in Pennsylvania, his home state, ahead of its primary on 24 April.

But he was far behind Mr Romney in terms of funding and was in danger of losing the state for the second time in six years, analysts said.

In 2006 Mr Santorum lost his Pennsylvania Senate seat by an 18-point margin.

In the current race for the Republican nomination, Mr Santorum lags far behind Mr Romney in terms of the number of delegates needed to seal the nomination at the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida, in late August.

'Against all odds'

Mr Santorum's children and his wife Karen stood behind him in Gettysburg as he made the announcement that he was suspending his campaign.

Analysis

To all intents and purposes, the Republican race is over. With Rick Santorum out, Mitt Romney can focus solely on Barack Obama. His message is that the president has failed America on the economy - burdening small businesses with tax and regulations, while widening the deficit through what he says is an obsession with government spending.

The Obama campaign fully expected Mitt Romney to be the nominee. In a statement, it accused the multi-millionaire challenger of trying to buy the election - through negative adverts funded by special interests. And it claimed the more the American people saw of Mr Romney, the less they liked and trusted him. It all points to a brutal and very personal campaign.

He had taken time off the campaign trail in recent days as his three-year-old daughter Isabella, who has a rare genetic disorder, was admitted to hospital.

Mr Santorum proved to be the most resilient of the Republican rivals challenging Mr Romney's front-runner status.

In his statement he said he had surpassed expectations, adding that "against all odds, we won 11 states, millions of voters, millions of votes".

"We were winning in a very different way," Mr Santorum said, "We were touching hearts."

He remembered some of the volunteers he worked with during the campaign.

Without the help of people like Wendy in Iowa, who made 5,000 phone calls or the girls in Tulsa, Oklahoma, whose song "Game On" became an internet sensation, the campaign would not have come as far as it did, Mr Santorum said.

Mr Santorum mentioned his visit to the factory of the Minnesota manufacturer of his sweater vests, which became known as the former Senator's signature outfit.

'Worthy competitor'

Mr Santorum won a total of 11 primaries and caucuses, and picked up additional delegates in states that awarded them proportionally.

He emerged on the national scene on the night of the Iowa caucuses in January, eventually winning the state by a whisker after victory was initially handed to Mr Romney.

His old-fashioned, hard-working campaign style saw him visit every one of the Iowa's 99 counties in the months preceding the vote, and won him the respect and support of many in the state.

He continued to garner strong support in the Midwest and in the South, halting Mr Romney in a swathe of states from Minnesota to Alabama and as far west as Colorado and North Dakota.

In conceding that he could not win the nomination Mr Santorum made no specific mention of Mr Romney, and did not say whether he planned to endorse the front-runner.

However, he reportedly telephoned the former governor to concede shortly before speaking to reporters.

In a statement, Mr Romney congratulated Mr Santorum on his campaign, calling him an "able and worthy competitor".

"He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation," the former Massachusetts governor said.

Gingrich and Paul defiant

Meanwhile, fellow candidate Newt Gingrich said Mr Santorum had run a "remarkable campaign", adding that "his success is a testament to his tenacity and the power of conservative principles".

Mr Gingrich, though, insisted that he would remain in the race in an effort to broaden the policy discussion and offer a conservative alternative to Mr Romney.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul congratulated the former senator on running a "spirited campaign". Mr Paul has the fewest delegates but, like Mr Gingrich, has refused to pull out of the contest.

Despite them remaining in the race, many analysts quickly characterised Mr Santorum's decision as the moment the general election campaign effectively began.

Mr Romney, who made his fortune in a private equity firm is now seen as the man to take on Democratic President Barack Obama, a former law professor and community organiser, in November's election.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 283.

    Santorum's strategy was simple, destroy Romney's chances in 2012 so that he'd have a clear shot at the Presidency in 2016. Looks like it may work.Romney will forever be remembered as the "etch-a-sketch" candidate. The Republicans seem at this point to have a slim chance this year especially if the economy perks up as expected.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 282.

    These so called elected offices are ceremonial. These are orators of a police state. They hold no power. Through control of the mass media information is provided a world citizen that has one structured basic outcome demanded to live by. The world citizens is led about, petrified with fear to never form their own consciousness, passive and peer pressured, to fit into a mind controlled society.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 281.

    to be honest if any of theese very consevitive paries get in power there going to bring down there own county and the world with it.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 280.

    kinda sad the US media saying Mitt Romney is the guy when Ron Paul is still in and others. Mitt Romney is no different to any other people. Also people in the US are a joke who thing this is change.

    If people want real change they look into Ron Paul. He been getting media black out because there nothing they can rip him apart with :)

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 279.

    Mitt Romney is an acute businessman so there will be quite a lobbying for aggrandizement. Republicans have no definite plans on the economy or the healthcare of Americans. Obama has fulfilled most of the promises he made to the people in spite of Republicans placing obstacles in his path to lift the economy that was ruined by his predecessor Bush. Obama is the best-suited for a Democrat rerun.

  • Comment number 278.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 277.

    Thank God! eventhough im not relgious. conservatives are always talking about freedom but he was trying to impose his religion and chritian values onto others and thats not freedom. maybe there was a christian america back in the early establishment of the country but its not like that now. truly he was a nut case.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 276.

    JC
    Thats why Ron Paul gets no media attention

    He wants to end the fed, he wants to decriminalize marijuana+hemp
    (which they say would bring USA out of Great Recession alone), he wants to let truth+freedom ring
    which scares the corporations+politicians

    However Ron Paul did not campaign enough
    which is his ultimate downfall

    I truly believe if he campaigned more
    Paul could beat Obama

  • Comment number 275.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 274.

    Palin, Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum how can anyone claim that evolution is true given that lineup. Now all we have left is a guy who believes in a religion founded by a convicted fraudster.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 273.

    I would imagine its going to take our American friends a long time to trust another republican to be president after the last one, at least they can vote for who they want to run their country unlike us who have the fantastic EU dictating what we can and cant do.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 272.

    Romney is the new Sarah Palin on foreign policy,cant wait for the Live debates,whatever Romney's deep pockets the puppet masters puppet will have to think on his feet with out a hand up his back.
    Think I would give a bit more to charity if I paid 14% tax Mick!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 271.

    Democracy in action, billionairs fighting over the right to rob the poor. When did you last see a factory worker elected president. The oppressed voting on who is going to repress them.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 270.

    264LucyJ

    I total AGREE the facts now speak that what you say is the truth!!

    The fed is run by WALL ST for WALL ST / those behind the main banks!

    The NAT debt has gone up DRAMATICALLY since 2008 NOT down!

    Inflation has gone up DRAMATICALLY mainly because the $ has been devalued through TARP and QE etc!

    The distraction is put on bankers bonuses BUT the real crime is in the use of CDSs etc!

  • Comment number 269.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 268.

    Entropic: Obama had a narrow window

    Hillary Clinton would have passed universal health care+let Bush tax cuts expire

    Democrats simply chose the wrong person

    Is skin color more important than who is best?

    Fyi I don't think its Obama reacting slowly

    I think its and/or a) Obama putting corporations first just like Bush Jr
    b) politics- Obama wanted to use these problems for re-election

  • Comment number 267.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 266.

    Pretty much irrelevant, neither of them will be the President, Obama will be re-elected for good or bad.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 265.

    Xenophobe (257),

    “... Privacy is enshrined in the US constitution ...”

    You are mistaken. The right to privacy isn't directly mentioned in that document. While you and I enjoy that liberty, you will be unable to find a right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution.

    Read Griswald vs. Connecticut, & Roe vs. Wade for that right.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 264.

    Kenny 255: it should be revealed that the "economy" is engineered

    I can remember in my childhood in 1990s everyone having manufacturing jobs, which meant everyone had health care+could send their kids to college

    Then after majority of USA manufacturing went overseas
    America lost everything we had

    Funny thing is so many Americans don't realize
    that manufacturing is our economy

 

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