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Santorum Out of the Race

Exit cinches Romney's quest for the GOP nomination, but there's no endorsement yet.

In Gettysburg, Penn., the town made famous by a great Cvil War battle, Rick Santorum announced today that he would end his own fight for the presidency.

Citing the health of his daughter, 3-year-old Bella, who has been critically ill in recent months, Santorum said he was exiting the race to focus on family. The decision came over the weekend after discussions with his family, he said.

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

The former Pennsylvania senator won 11 states in total during the primary contest and fetched 3.2 million votes. In recent weeks he has been the only obstacle between frontrunner Mitt Romney and the GOP nomination, though polls suggest he was facing tough odds in upcoming contests, including the Pennsylvania primary.

Romney, in a statement immediately after the announcement, thanked Santorum for his contributions to the race.

"Senator Santorum is an able and worthy competitor, and I congratulate him on the campaign he ran," Romney said. "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."

Though Romney and Santorum had apparently spoken before the announcement, Santorum made no mention of Romney, but he vowed to continue to fight to defeat President Barack Obama's re-election.

"We are going to continue to fight for those Americans who stood up and gave us that air under our wings that allowed us to accomplish things that no political expect would have expected," Santorum said.

Santorum was all but written off as an also-ran in a field dominated by bigger political stars, but a second-place finish (which after a recount turned into a first-place win) in the Iowa caucuses jumpstarted the campaign.

He placed third in South Carolina behind Newt Gingrich and Romney.

This is a breaking-news update. Check back for more details.

Lindsay Street April 11, 2012 at 02:14 PM
I'm keeping his daughter in my thoughts! For more about her condition, called Trisomy 18, click here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002626/

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