NBC News: Santorum to Suspend Presidential Campaign
Move Expected to Stifle Opposition to Mitt Romney for the GOP Nomination
Image by Jae C Hong (AP)
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum suspended his campaign on Tuesday, clearing Mitt Romney’s path to the Republican presidential nomination.
Citing weekend reflection with his family, prompted in part by a hospital stay for his youngest daughter, Santorum suspended his campaign, effective today.
"Ladies and gentleman, we made the decision to get into this race at our kitchen table against all the odds," Santorum said in remarks to reporters in Gettysburg, Pa.
"We made a 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."
The announcement effectively stifles opposition to Romney from within the GOP; amid signs that the Republican establishment has started to rally around Romney, the former Massachusetts governor no longer faces any serious conservative challenger.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul remain active candidates, though neither of them have a plausible path to winning the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the nomination.
The decision comes two weeks before the Pennsylvania presidential primary. Santorum had faced the prospect of an embarrassing loss to Romney that threatened to short-circuit any of his future political aspirations, either statewide or nationally.