Rick Santorum Gives Up, Endorses Another Candidate

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You’d think the Zika virus had hit the Republican primary the way the GOP candidates are dropping like flies.

First Mike Huckabee, next Rand Paul and now Rick Santorum — all suspending their campaigns since the Iowa Caucuses on Monday. The irony can’t be lost on poor Rick.The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania eked out a surprise win over Gov. Mitt Romney four years ago in the 2012 Republican Iowa Caucuses, but managed only 1 percent of the vote this time around.

Santorum spent months in Iowa, traveling across the state and to every county. It wasn’t enough: his support stayed mired in the low single digits in Iowa last year, and kept him off the main debate stage in the run-up to the first votes of the primary season. Although Santorum was one of the contenders with an ideology that excites the party’s hard-right base, Huckabee, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz occupied the field he once owned; that being Christian activists, foreign-policy hawks and populist conservatives.

Admittedly, his lack of funds and the same consultants on board who engineered his 2012 win, he was unable to repeat his success. It was lackluster rankings that did poor old Rick in, coming in at 11th place this time around. We’re quite certain many people were shocked to find out Santorum was still even in the race, considering he was kept off the main debate stage his entire run.

Santorum made his announcement this evening in an exclusive interview on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren this evening. We don’t watch that network but we heard it was a nice announcement. He also threw his support Marco Rubio’s way with a nice endorsement. Santorum described Rubio as “the new generation, and someone who can bring the country together.”

“We wanted to find a candidate that really espoused the values we believed in,” Santorum said.

So what was once a crowded field of 17 wanna-be presidents is now nine. Cruz, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and—sure, why not—Jim Gilmore (who?). Eight men and one woman who hate each other, some despised more than others, which should make for some feisty entertainment on the debate stage Saturday, the Republican party’s last forum before the New Hampshire primary on February 9.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

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