Rick Santorum halts campaign for White House, endorses Rubio

Following a disappointing performance in Monday’s Iowa caucus, Rick Santorum, former two-term senator from Pennsylvania, ended his campaign for the White House on Wednesday evening.

Santorum earned only one percent of the Iowa caucus vote on Monday night, which did not earn him any delegates.

The announcement was made on Fox News, followed by a declaration of support for Marco Rubio’s presidential bid.

 

Santorum won the 2012 Iowa Republican caucus, defeating Mitt Romney by 34 votes, and appeared to emerge as the main challenger to the eventual nominee in early primaries.

Despite a string of victories in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado, and a high watermark in the Southern primaries, he was unable to sustain his early momentum and dropped out of the 2012 race after placing second to Romney in Wisconsin.

Santorum announced his second bid for the GOP nomination in May 2015, and was considered a viable contender after earning the second-highest number of delegates in 2012; however, Santorum’s campaign was confronted by a large GOP primary field and struggled to gain traction, often being relegated to second-tier ranking in early debates.

A passionate social conservative and foe of abortion and same-sex marriage, Santorum’s most potent support came from family organizations and religious groups.

Following former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s departure from the race on Monday night and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s suspension of his campaign, Santorum’s exit leaves nine GOP contenders seeking the Republican nomination.

Upon ending his campaign, Mr. Santorum praised Florida Senator Marco Rubio, calling him “a tremendously gifted young man and a born leader (who) can bring this country together, not just moderates and conservatives but young and old.”

 

[Reuters] [BBC] [Photo courtesy newsmax.com]