Wednesday Apr 11, 201212:28 AM GMT
Santorum suspends campaign for GOP nomination
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum waves during a primary night campaign rally on April 3, 2012 at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Mars, Pennsylvania.
Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:25AM
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Rick Santorum has pulled out of the US presidential race but has vowed to work to help defeat President Barack Obama in November's general election.


“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,” Santorum told reporters at a press conference in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

“We are going to continue to go out there and fight to defeat President Barack Obama,” he added.

Santorum's decision to end his candidacy clears the way for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to claim the Republican nomination. Santorum, however, did not endorse Romney in his announcement.

Two other candidates, former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Representative Ron Paul, remain in the race, but have not won enough delegates to challenge Romney's commanding lead.

In a statement, Romney called Santorum “an able and worthy competitor” and congratulated his rival for his campaign.

“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,” Romney said.

Santorum, a former US senator from Pennsylvania, was a virtual unknown when he officially entered the Republican primaries last June but soon emerged as Romney’s main rival.

But recent primary losses put him far behind in the race for the delegates needed to obtain the party’s nomination.

Santorum’s departure before Pennsylvania's April 24 primary was widely expected because polls consistently indicated Romney leading Santorum in the state.
If Santorum did not win Pennsylvania, it would be an ignominious defeat in his home state, which he had declared a “must-win.”

In the campaign, Santorum, 53, was a fierce critic of President Obama, calling him “a snob,” and saying Obama wanted “everybody in America to go to college.”

He also attacked Obama on religious grounds, arguing that Obama practices one of the “different stripes of Christianity.”

MN/HGL
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