Rick Santorum quits Republican presidential campaign

 

Bowing to the inevitable, Rick Santorum quit the presidential campaign today, clearing the way for Mitt Romney to claim the Republican nomination.

Mr Santorum, appearing with his wife and family in his home state of Pennsylvania, told supporters the race for him was over, but the fight to defeat president Barack Obama would go on.

Mr Santorum made no mention of Mr Romney, and stressed that he had gone further than anyone expected, competing "against all odds".

The delegate totals told the tale of Mr Santorum's demise. Mr Romney has more than twice as many delegates as Mr Santorum and is on pace to reach the number needed to clinch the nomination - 1,144 - by early June.

Still in the race, but not considered a factor are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul of Texas.

He made no mention or endorsement of Mr Romney, whom Mr Santorum had derided as an unworthy standard-bearer for the Republicans.

The former Pennsylvania senator said: "We are going to continue to go out there and fight to defeat president Barack Obama."

Mr Santorum spoke to Mr Romney ahead of his announcement, a Republican source close to the campaign said.

Mr Romney congratulated Mr Santorum on his campaign, calling him an "able and worthy competitor".

Mr Santorum had been hoping to hold out through the primary in Pennsylvania on April 24, but he decided to fold up after spending the weekend at home with his severely ill three-year-old daughter Bella.

Mr Santorum, a feisty campaigner who took everyone by surprise with his win in Iowa's lead-off caucuses, ran on his conservative credentials. But he was hobbled by a lack of money and organisation.

Mr Santorum stressed the improbable accomplishment of the past year, saying that "against all odds, we won 11 states, millions of voters, millions of votes".

He said that while Mr Romney was accumulating more delegates, "we were winning in a very different way. We were touching hearts" with his conservative message.

In a statement, Mr Romney said Mr Santorum "has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation. We both recognise 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."

Mr Santorum was a favourite of the most conservative Republican voters, but Mr Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, had accumulated a huge lead in delegates to the party's national convention in August.

Mr Romney's conservative credentials are suspect among the conservative Republican base, but Mr Santorum's inability to put together primary election victories in key states - especially in the industrial Midwest - appeared to have convinced most voters that Mr Romney's nomination was inevitable.

Mr Santorum was the only Republican in what started out as a crowded field who was able to create a sustained challenge to Mr Romney, who is making his second run for the nomination. The distaste that conservatives felt for Mr Romney showed itself in a series of runs at his front-runner status by Rep Michelle Bachmann, Texas Gov Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain and former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.

Mr Gingrich today said he would stay in the race until the party's convention.

Mr Santorum was to have returned to the campaign trail Tuesday after his daughter was released from hospital. She suffers from a rare genetic condition and was taken to hospital on Friday as her father began a brief holiday break from campaigning. She was discharged from the hospital last night.

He said her latest spell in hospital led him and his family to decide against continuing in the race.

Five states, including Pennsylvania, hold primaries on April 24

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, stepped up his election-year insistence that the wealthy pay a greater share of taxes, renewing his call today for Congress to raise taxes on millionaires.

Hoping to draw a sharp contrast with Mr Romney, Mr Obama outlined his support for the so-called "Buffett rule" in Florida. Mr Obama says he wants to revamp the US tax law under which wealthy investors often pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-class wage-earners.

The push for the Buffett rule is named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who famously said it was wrong for him to be paying a lower tax rate than that levied on his secretary.

Mr Obama has proposed that people earning at least 1 million dollars (£630,000) annually, whether in salary or investments, should pay at least 30 per cent of their income in taxes. Many wealthy taxpayers earn investment income, which is taxed at 15 per cent, allowing them to pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes. The top rate for taxpayers with high incomes derived from wages is 35 per cent.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Chelsea are interested in loaning out Romelu Lukaku to Everton again next season
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series