Santorum Surrenders In Gettysburg, Pa.

Apr 10, 2012
Originally published on April 10, 2012 4:26 pm
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Rick Santorum has ended his presidential campaign. The former senator made a farewell speech this afternoon in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, his home state. The event had been scheduled as a rally, Santorum's first after six days off, while his youngest daughter was in the hospital with pneumonia.

NPR's Don Gonyea was in Gettysburg as Santorum suspended his campaign. And he joins us now from there.

Hey there, Don.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Hi, there.

CORNISH: So we heard so much speculation in the last couple of days about Santorum's route or, you know, his plans and options. And, in the end, what seemed to matter most to him about - in terms of making this decision finally?

GONYEA: Well, it's important to say, he did not give us a specific reason for dropping out today - none. The closest he came was at the very beginning when he did provide an update on the health of his youngest daughter, Bella. She has a genetic disorder. This wasn't her first hospitalization during the campaign. Here is Senator Santorum right at the start of his remarks.

RICK SANTORUM: She is doing exceptionally well and is back with us in the family, and we are looking forward to spending a lot of great time with her. But it did cause us to think, and as the role that we have as parents in her life, and with the rest of our family. And this was a time for prayer and thought.

CORNISH: So that's the closest we got to a reason. But as Rick Santorum was making that announcement, did he mention the difficulties he would have faced had he stayed in the race? Of course, he was very much behind Mitt Romney in the delegate count.

GONYEA: Here's something else he didn't mention today: Mitt Romney, the name didn't come up. The number of delegates didn't come up, no mention of the count - how far he is behind, didn't mention the other candidates. But he did talk about what this campaign, his campaign - it's a campaign that he once described to me very early on in Iowa as the little engine that could campaign. He talked about what it accomplished. Give a listen.

SANTORUM: Against all odds, we won 11 states, millions of voters, millions of votes. We won more counties than all the other people in this race combined. We were able to spread that message far and wide across this country. And what we found is that, while we found that support, I found a deeper love for this country.

GONYEA: And he also talked about how he was committed during the campaign to discussing moral issues and family values. And he said he was proud to have run what he called a positive campaign but, again, he did not talk delegate counts. He did not say that he was dropping out because winning at this point would be impossible.

CORNISH: So, no mention of Romney, but did we get any sense that the Santorum campaign had any negotiations with the Romney camp, behind the scenes?

GONYEA: It sounds right now like they have only talked since Santorum decided he was dropping out; when he called the Romney campaign to drop out. And all we know so far is that Romney said back to him that they look forward to sitting down in the next couple of days to talk things out. And again, his not mentioning Romney today doesn't mean he is not going to endorse him. It just wasn't what he was going to talk about today.

CORNISH: Thank you so much, Don.

GONYEA: Thank you.

CORNISH: That's NPR's Don Gonyea speaking to us from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where today, Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.