Santorum Ends His Campaign

Rick Santorum’s exit from the race pretty much ends the race for the GOP nomination and frees Mitt Romney to focus on President Obama.

Santorum railed against the media throughout his campaign. He chided, even swore at reporters by accusing them of distorting his statements, and was even hesitant about Fox News’ coverage. He wilted as his populist approach in Iowa detoured into a debate over contraception and pre-marital sex.

That Santorum made it this far will still be one of the biggest surprises of 2012. Not until December, just weeks before the Iowa caucus, did major media pay much attention. When he entered the race a month earlier, he was treated as something of a joke. The social conservatism that was supposed to be marginalized this year, as Tea Partiers emphasized economic populism, came back to life.

The sheer number of presidential debates gave candidates like Santorum and Newt Gingrich more opportunity than they otherwise would have had — a dependence on the very media they often campaigned against — but that neither could break through in larger states like Florida, Michigan and Ohio still shows that the ability to compete in the long term has very much to do with the campaign war chest. SuperPAC benefactors kept Santorum and Gingrich alive, but they were no match for the support for Romney, who showed little hesitation to unleash attack ads and a barrage of biting messages.

Here’s Santorum’s speech today.

 

 

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