Santorum Drops Out
With Rick Santorum no longer running, it looks like Mitt Romney will be the Republican candidate against President Obama in November
On Tuesday there was a big change in the race to become the Republican Party’s nominee for President.
Rick Santorum announced that he is suspending his campaign, effective immediately. The former Senator from Pennsylvania was the strongest challenger to front-runner Mitt Romney. His exit clears a path for Romney to wrap up the race.
“This presidential campaign for us is over,” Santorum announced at a press conference in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Santorum said he reached his decision after long conversations with his family and advisers over the weekend at his home in Pennsylvania. He also spent part of the weekend tending to his 3-year-old daughter Bella, who was in the hospital for complications from a rare genetic disorder. The former Senator said the weekend break gave him time to think and re-evaluate his campaign.
Up to this point, Santorum had won 11 states and was running second in the delegate count. He had hoped to carry on to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, in August, where the party’s candidate is officially named.
But things had recently been going downhill for his campaign. Last Tuesday, Santorum lost in all three primaries held that day—in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Even though the campaign was confident Santorum could win his delegate-rich home state of Pennsylvania in two weeks, that victory wouldn’t have given him enough delegates to catch up to Romney.
Santorum did not endorse Romney in his exit speech on Tuesday. If he does eventually endorse Romney, then Santorum will ask all of the delegates who were pledged to vote for him to swing their support to Romney at the convention in Tampa.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Congressman Ron Paul are still running. But at this point in the race, it would be nearly impossible for either to win enough delegates to catch up to Romney.
With the major competition for the Republican nomination effectively over, Romney can now turn his full attention to challenging the Democratic candidate, incumbent President Barack Obama, in this November’s general election.