Election 2020

Santorum Drops Out and Makes His Endorsement

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Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign and endorsed Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Santorum announced his decision Wednesday night on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.

“He is a born leader and…he is the new generation, someone who can bring this country together, not just moderates and conservatives, but young and old…to have that optimistic message,” Santorum said of Rubio.

Santorum told Van Susteren that he could best achieve his goals by suspending his campaign and backing another candidate who “really espoused the values that we believed in.” He said he wanted to endorse a candidate who really understands that “family breakdown is one of the key reasons that the middle is hollowing out,” and someone who has experience facing the threat of fundamentalist Islam. He said he spoke with Rubio for “more than an hour” on Tuesday.

Having won the 2012 Iowa caucus, Santorum based his 2016 strategy on replicating that victory, as did former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. On Monday night, Santorum received 1 percent in the caucus, while Huckabee took 1.8 percent. Neither won a single delegate for the July Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who did win one delegate in the caucus, suspended his campaign Wednesday morning, to focus on his re-election to the United States Senate.

Santorum’s plan to suspend his campaign leaked to the media on Wednesday afternoon, but the Rubio endorsement came as a surprise to some. Washington Post reporter Robert Costa hinted on Wednesday afternoon that Santorum might endorse real estate tycoon Donald J. Trump. Both Huckabee and Santorum had appeared at Trump’s veterans fundraiser which he held at the same time as the seventh Republican debate last week. Neither Huckabee nor Paul has endorsed a candidate.