The Chase 2012

Rick Santorum suspends campaign

With external pressure from members within the Republican party, a rising Romney delegate count, and enduring family issues, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for president this afternoon during a speech in Gettysburg, Pa.

In a speech that lasted around twenty minutes, Santorum thanked many of his volunteers, including the Duggar family, and recounted countless stories from the campaign trail, including his dramatic win in the Iowa caucus to his visit to the wool factory in Bemidji, Minn. that made his iconic sweater vest. “Amazing thing, that sweater vest,” he said.

After getting swept in the last batch of primaries, calls for Santorum to end his candidacy for president grew the loudest of the campaign cycle. Romney veep talk ran rampant and the countless questions of whether or not Santorum could win his home state of Pennsylvania proved to be too much for him to overcome. Whether or not the health of his youngest daughter, Bella, played a factor in his decision, all Santorum said was that, “she is a fighter and is doing exceptionally well.”

As the speech drew to its conclusion, press in attendance were left wondering if Santorum would endorse Mitt Romney, but, as Santorum walked off, he didn’t mention the GOP frontrunner at all. Reports at this hour say that a meeting is in the works between the two to discuss a strategy going forward for the party.

Santorum was the last viable alternative to Romney. With his announcement today, this primary, for all intents and purposes, has reached a conclusion. 

UPDATE: Newt Gingrich released a statement on Santorum ending his campaign:

“Rick has waged a remarkable campaign. His success is a testament to his tenacity and the power of conservative principles.

“I am committed to staying in this race all the way to Tampa so that the conservative movement has a real choice.  I humbly ask Senator Santorum’s supporters to visit Newt.org to review my conservative record and join us as we bring these values to Tampa.  We know well that only a conservative can protect life, defend the Constitution, restore jobs and growth and return to a balanced budget.”

UPDATE 3:48 p.m.: Mitt Romney released a statement this afternoon on Santorum ending his campaign:

“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. We both recognize 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.”

Full video of Santorum’s suspension speech below:

Sign Up