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Santorum suspends campaign for Republicans' Presidential nomination

The former Pennsylvania senator’s move all but guarantees that Mitt Romney will be the man to face Barack Obama in November.

Rick Santorum addressing supporters at a campaign event last week. Santorum has today suspended his campaign, virtually assuring victory for Mitt Romney.
Rick Santorum addressing supporters at a campaign event last week. Santorum has today suspended his campaign, virtually assuring victory for Mitt Romney.
Image: Gene J. Puskar/AP

FORMER PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR Rick Santorum – the man who had come closest to stopping Mitt Romney from winning the Republican presidential nomination – has called a halt to his campaign.

Santorum announced this afternoon he was suspending his campaign, a move which allows him to continue fundraising, while simultaneously all but guaranteeing that Romney will be the Republican nominee.

Appearing with his wife and children in his home state, Santorum told supporters the race for him was over, but the fight to defeat President Barack Obama would go on.

Santorum spoke with Romney before the announcement, a Republican source close to the campaign told AP.

Republican sources told AP that Santorum had spoken with Romney before his announcement.

While Santorum had performed well in a number of states – taking a surprise (and delayed) win in the opening contest in Iowa – his broad support had not translated into delegates, the measure by which candidates secure the nomination.

Romney has more than twice as many delegates as Santorum – approximately 681 to 270 – and is set to reach the 1,144 threshold needed to confirm victory within two months.

Santorum had been hoping to hold out and continue campaigning until the primary in his own Pennsylvania two weeks from today, but decided to fold up after his severely ill 3-year-old daughter, Bella, spent the weekend in hospital.

The former senator stressed the improbable accomplishment of the past year, saying that “against all odds, we won 11 states, millions of voters, millions of votes”, and pointed out that he had won primaries in more individual counties than any other candidate.

While Romney had been accruing more delegates than him, Santorum said he was “winning in a very different way – we were touching hearts.”

Both former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texan congressman Ron Paul are still in the race, with 157 and 79 delegates respectively, but neither is though to have the sufficiently broad base of popular support in order to stop Romney’s procession to the nomination.

Additional reporting by Marc Levy, AP

In full: TheJournal.ie’s coverage of the US election 2012 >

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Gavan Reilly

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