Santorum ends ‘love affair with America’

photo via cleveland.comRick Santorum’s White House came to a screeching halt Tuesday afternoon as he announced his decision to suspend his campaign at a press conference in Gettysburg, Pa.

“We were very concerned about our roles as being the very best parents has we can be to our children,” Santorum said. “We made a decision over the weekend while this presidential race is over to for me and will suspend our campaign effective today – we are not done fighting.”

Santorum compared his quest to promote freedoms espoused in the Declaration of Independence and to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address in 1863.

The candidate’s decision comes a day after the release of his daughter, Bella, 3, who suffers from Trisomy 18, a rare and usually fatal genetic disorder, from a Virginia hospital.

His abrupt pullout of the race comes two weeks before the Pennsylvania primary that was widely seen as his last opportunity. Santorum’s surrogates were bragging privately as recently as last week that they felt that Pennsylvania could be winnable for them and that a string of Southern primaries in May in places like Texas with large Evangelical populations put the former Senator in a good position to be competitive.

Santorum faced an uphill fight to win his home state where the state GOP apparatus was firmly in Mitt Romney’s pocket according to insiders.

One Republican state representative told Red Alert Politics last month that Santorum could theoretically win the popular vote but end up losing all of Pennsylvania’s delegates to Romney because of party rules.

The former Pennsylvania Senator accomplished what many thought was impossible with the least amount of resources of almost any presidential candidate in modern political history. Santorum managed to win 11 states and keep nipping at Romney’s heels despite consistently being outspent by a wide margin.

“Against all odds, we won 11 states, millions of voters, millions of votes, we won more counties than all the other people in this race combined,” Santorum said. “I found a deeper love for this country.

“It was a love affair for me, going from state to state and seeing the differences and seeing the wonderful, wonderful people of this country who care deeply about where this country is going.”

Santorum emerged as the anti-Romney among conservatives who were uneasy about the former Massachusetts governor’s centrist record – especially Evangelicals who objected to his Mormon religion.

Santorum consistently won in states with large Evangelical populations while suffering defeats in places like Michigan and Ohio with larger Catholic populations that he had hoped to win.

“At a time when over and over again we were told, ‘Forget it, you can’t win,’ ” Santorum said. “We were winning. We were winning in a very different way because we were touching hearts. We were raising issues that, well, frankly, a lot of people didn’t want to have raised.

“We can’t have a strong economy, as you’ve heard me say over and over again, without strong families and a strong moral fiber that makes us the moral enterprise that is America.”

Santorum also added color to the race in the form of the sweater vests that became his campaign’s trademark after the Iowa caucuses.

His exit also came as many of the GOP’s heavy-hitters  such as former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., lined up behind Romney and as calls for Santorum to drop out
increased.

Romney, the man who stands to gain the most from Santorum’s exit, praised his now former rival for running a competitive race.

“Sen. Santorum is an able and worthy competitor, and I congratulate him on the campaign he ran. He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation,” Romney said. “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.”

While former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who recently laid off numerous campaign staffers and scaled back his schedule, praised Santorum and called for his supporters to rally to his cause.

“Rick has waged a remarkable campaign,” Gingrich said. “His success is a testament to his tenacity and the power of conservative principles. “

Gingrich’s remarks come two days after his saying he could support Romney should he be the nominee.

Meanwhile, Texas Rep. Ron Paul is making waves about winning the 152 delegates now that Santorum’s White House bid is history.

Red Alert Politics Editor Francesca Chambers contributed to this report.

 

Comments

Polititainment

Eric Roberts: Bush killed James Foley

Actor Eric Roberts on Twitter Monday accused former President George W. Bush of killing American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by an ISIS terrorist in a video posted to YouTube in August.

Palin asks fans to pray for Joan Rivers
Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol are asking their fans to show support for comedian Joan Rivers, an unlikely pal of the Palins. Rivers,81, has been unconscious in the hospital since Thursday after she went into cardiac arrest during a procedure. Palin posted on her popular Facebook page Friday directing fans to a blog post by Bristol. […]
Grover Norquist loved Burning Man
It’s official: Grover Norquist absolutely loved this year’s Burning Man festival. Before the blaze with co-founder of Burning Man Larry Harvey.He has created a wonderful festival/movement/Brigadoon pic.twitter.com/3iq5UzcPYG — Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist) August 31, 2014 Burning Man. 65,000 participants. 1000s of works of art. Anyone who walks through BM and only notices nudity tells you only […]
Celebs gin up youth votes for midterms
THE HILL – With young voters more apathetic about voting and government than ever, several organizations are trying to woo the “selfie generation” to the polls this fall. “About half of those who vote in presidential elections do not vote in midterms,” explained Andy Bernstein, executive director of HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that partners with musicians […]
Maher to Cheney: light yourself on fire

As Hunter S. Thompson despised Richard Nixon with every drug-influenced fiber of his being, so Bill Maher carries on the torch for media provocateurs.

White House

Obama notifies Congress of airstrikes in Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has sent official notification to Congress of his order for last week’s airstrikes and humanitarian aid drops to help Iraqis threatened by Islamic State militants. The White House on Monday released a letter formally letting Congress’ leaders know that Obama approved the mission that repelled Sunni fighters in the northern Shiite […]
Obama: The world seems really messy because of ‘social media’

President Barack Obama, speaking at yet another fundraiser with a script that's been recycled more than a Hollywood romantic comedy, had an unlikely culprit for the world's problems.

White House scrambles to control the fallout from Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’ comment
It’s hard to imagine that there was any other reaction than full panic from White House staffers after President Obama uttered a fateful gaffe Thursday afternoon, “We don’t have a strategy yet.” The line quickly exploded on Twitter and on television — though not quite as much as the president’s tan suit — as it […]
GOP: ‘He’s not a king’
THE HILL – Whether lamenting the so-called vacationer-in-chief’s swing of a golf club or criticizing his handling of the healthcare rollout, Republicans are getting in the habit of comparing President Obama to a monarch. “It’s one thing after another. You know he says he has no choice but to act. He says he has a pen […]
Obama’s Democratic fundraising just might ruin Labor Day weekend for the rest of us

Barely having returned from a 15-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Obama will spend is Labor Day weekend traveling to support his Democratic friends. The problem is, this means that Americans planning to take seaplanes to East Hampton, Montauk, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket won't be able to travel themselves.

Congress

When Congress was popular
THE HILL — If you’re not a paid staffer or blood relative, as the joke goes, you probably hate Congress. The institution is so unpopular that voters were more positive about brussels sprouts, head lice and root canals in one recent survey. But there have been a handful of times over the last 100 years […]
Cruz highlights issues for 2014, 2016 elections
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) elicited huge cheers from the audience at the Americans For Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” Saturday when he vowed Republicans would take back control of the U.S. Senate and “retire” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I’m convinced we’re going to win in 2014 and 2016 is going to be even better,” […]
IRS says Lerner's Blackberry 'destroyed'

A senior IRS lawyer has said in a sworn declaration that Lois Lerner's BlackBerry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun to investigate her involvement in IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Youth impact reason enough to pass jobs bills
The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means is in the midst of releasing 40 reasons over the course of 40 days that the Senate should take up the 40 jobs bills the House has already passed. While most of their reasons have focused on general unemployment and economic growth statistics, they turned their attention […]
UNEARTHED: Archival footage of Harry Reid smiling

From appearances, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid derives little pleasure from his job, perhaps a deputy to the paragon of joylessness. But Red Alert Politics has dug into the archives to demonstrate that it wasn't always like this.