imageRick Santorum announced today that he is suspending his campaign.  He said his daughter Bella’s latest hospitalization over the weekend was a time of “prayer and thought” about the status of his campaign.  He took time to recognize the stories of different volunteers, like Chuck Laudner in Iowa with his truck, and a young man in wheelchair, as well as the Duggers.

“He said it has been a wonderful story after story of people coming forward.”  He said people stepped up even though experts said they would never win.  He said, but we did win in a different way.  He realized it wasn’t about his voice, but our voices.

“We painted a hopeful, positive vision for our country.”  Santorum said, “we wanted to share the hopes of Americans, not just the fears of Americans.”  He said his campaign was about who we were as Americans.

Santorum said, “We made a decision to get into the race at the kitchen table, and we decided over the weekend that this campaign is done for me, but we are not done fighting.”  So they are suspending their campaign effective today, but will go on to fight to make sure President Obama is defeated and that Republicans keep the House and take back the Senate.

Update:  Dustin and I needed to communicate a little I guess.  Yes Paul and Gingrich are staying in the race, but with Santorum out Romney now has a clear path to the nomination.  For the nomination race to come down to a brokered convention it was necessary for Santorum to stay in.

2nd Update: Newt Gingrich comments:

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

I am committed to staying in this race all the way to Tampa so that the conservative movement has a real choice.  I humbly ask Senator Santorum’s supporters to visit Newt.org to review my conservative record and join us as we bring these values to Tampa.  We know well that only a conservative can protect life, defend the Constitution, restore jobs and growth and return to a balanced budget.

This will obviously boost Gingrich’s performance in upcoming states, but with Santorum gone there is zero chance he can peel enough delegates away to block Romney from the nomination.  I wish that weren’t the case, but it’s true.  It was going to be difficult with Santorum in the race.  Now it’s mathematically impossible.

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