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Rick Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Jon Delano Jon Delano
Jon Delano is a familiar face on KDKA-TV, having been the station's...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After coming from nowhere and winning 11 states in his bid to become the Republican presidential nominee, Rick Santorum called it quits, suspending his campaign for president.

To many in Pennsylvania and around the country, Rick Santorum’s race for president seemed improbable at best.

From the beginning of his run, nobody gave him much of a chance.

After all, the former Pennsylvania Senator lost his own re-election six years ago by 17 points.

But, if nothing else, Santorum always has believed in himself. He carefully positioned himself as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney’s more centrist approach to issues.

It was a campaign that began in Somerset last June with a final campaign stop in Carnegie last week, where Santorum insisted he was in the race to the finish, as he pumped hands at Bob’s Diner.

So what changed?

Campaigning in Pennsylvania last week, Santorum knew he had a tough battle against Romney in his home state. It was a battle made tougher last Friday when the Romney campaign dropped $2.9 million in negative advertising scheduled to run this week.

Santorum could never match those resources and ran the risk of losing his home state to Romney.

Suspending his campaign now means he won’t risk the embarrassment of a loss in Pennsylvania.

At his press conference in Gettysburg today, Santorum gave no reasons for his withdrawal from the race, although he noted that his daughter Bella’s weekend hospitalization did give him pause as a parent.

Santorum focused on the hundreds of stories he heard on the campaign trail and his desire to continue to be the voice of the conservative voiceless.

“We have tried to be a witness, not only to your stories and your voice, but also to be a positive and hopeful vision, not a negative campaign. We travelled around and did 385 town hall meetings in Iowa, and we weren’t out there trashing anybody.

“We went out in our campaigns from that point on and we painted a hopeful positive vision for this country, one that was based on how we could get this country turned around, and not just economically.”

Indeed, while he had an economic recovery plan based on American manufacturing, Santorum clearly saw himself as the most socially conservative Republican in the race.

His strong pro-life position morphed into controversial discussions of contraception, birth control, homosexuality and other hot-button social issues.

The announcement was not the place for Santorum to endorse anyone for president and he made no mention of Romney although he is likely to fall in line behind Romney at some point.

Nor was there any talk of the vice-presidency either.

For his part, Santorum was upbeat, knowing that many candidates for President, like Ronald Reagan, lose their first bid for nomination, only to come back again.

But Santorum made it clear it was not the end of his political mission. The Senator focused on continuing to be the voice of the conservative voiceless even as his own political future is uncertain.

“We made this decision to get into this race at our kitchen table, against all the odds, and we made the decision over the weekend, while this presidential race is over for me, and we will suspend our presidential campaign effective today, we are not done fighting.

“We are going to continue to fight for those voices. We are going to continue to fight for those Americans who stood up and gave us that air under our wings to accomplish those things that no political expert would ever have expected.”

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