Santorum exits; cites campaign ‘miracle’

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday with a speech in which he … Continued

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday with a speech in which he thanked God for the “miracle” of his unlikely rise.

AP

Rick Santorum announced Tuesday that he is suspending his presidential campaign, all but bringing to a close the 2012 GOP presidential contest and effectively handing the nomination to Mitt Romney.

“Good Friday was a Passion play for us with daughter Bella,” who was hospitalized last week with complications from Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder.

“She is a fighter and is doing exceptionally well,” Santorum added, noting that her condition “did cause us to think [about] the role that we have as parents in her life and with the rest of our family. This was a time for prayer and thought over this past weekend just like it was, frankly, when we decided to get into this race.”

“Miracle after miracle, this race was as improbable as any race that you will ever see for president. . . I want to thank God for that,” the former senator said. “We were winning in a very different way because we were touching hearts, we were raising issues that frankly people didn’t want to be raised.”

Calling his campaign “a voice for those who in many cases are voiceless,” Santorum thanked his supporters, including the Duggar family of reality TV fame, who he said “gave their time and energy because they believed in the basic importance of having strong families as part of a strong country. We can’t have a strong economy without strong families and a strong moral fiber that makes us the moral enterprise that is America.”

Santorum’s surge injected social issues into a race framed earlier as a largely economic one–including reiteration of his previous statements calling contraception “harmful to women” and contending that JFK’s landmark 1960 speech on the separation of church and state made him want to “throw up.”

Santorum is a conservative Catholic who performed well among evangelical voters during Republican primaries, representing what some analysts saw as a new era in Catholic-Protestant politics in America.


View Photo Gallery: Scenes of religious faith meeting politics in the 2012 campaign.

The fact that Santorum easily won the support of evangelical voters demonstrated a significant evolution from the previous anti-Catholic sentiment among some Christian voters, wrote First Amendment scholar Charles C. Haynes in a February On Faith post. That was a contrast to Kennedy’s experience, as the first Catholic president. “By allaying long-standing Protestant fears about the prospect of a Roman Catholic in the White House, Kennedy paved the way for future Catholic candidates like, well, Rick Santorum, to run for national office,” Haynes wrote.

Digging into the new alliance, a recent New York Times story on Santorum’s evangelical appeal reported:

In his closing remarks Tuesday, Santorum cited the “city set on a hill” from Matthew’s Gospel, made famous in American history by 17th century Puritan preacher John Winthrop and frequently cited by politicians: “We stand for the values that make us Americans. That make us the greatest country in this history of the world–that shining city on a hill that made us a beacon around the world.”

Elizabeth Tenety
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  • DannoFromMpls

    I would have liked to have asked Santorum if he has health insurance coverage for his daughter Bella, and if so, if he would like to voluntarily give it up, allowing his insurance company to deny her coverage because of her pre-existing condition, which is what he wants insurance companies to be able to do to anyone. But maybe it would be in bad taste, now that he is no longer a candidate.

  • rch22

    Bella Santorum has Trisomy 18, not Trisomy 19.

  • jp1943

    There are people all over Pennsylvania thanking”God” that Santorum has withdrawn.

  • JJK33

    I’m not in total accord with everything that came out of Santorum, but he will be missed for voicing traditional values while serving notice that social conservatives will not be silenced by liberals on so many of these issues.

  • DannoFromMpls

    I think social conservatives HAVE been silenced on these issues. Bringing them up, which used to be a winning issue for Republicans, will now and for ever be a losing issue. And I would say “thank God”, if I weren’t an atheist.

  • Chops2

    I notice he doesnt thank god for Bella’s illness. Isn’t it convenient how god gets credit for his rise in politics but no blame at all for the still birth or Bella. What a crock.

  • tidelandermdva

    To say that God meddles in politics is blasphemy; just as much as expecting him to care whether the Broncos make a field goal. But, it he does, then why is Santorum a loser? The idea that Santorum is the only faithful person running, that “God likes him best” is an intentional slander and insult to Obama and Romney, and to represent that the many fathful Americans who do’t wear their religion on their sleaves, proclaim it loudly fronm the front of the Temple, or shove it in your face — or down your throat — does not mean that they are somehow less religious or less faithful than the insecure people who feel the need no make a public show, or have so little faith in their faith they feel the need to get the government to impose it on everyone else, knowing that it will not carry the day on its merits through volentary acceptance.

  • rodney11

    When he entered the race Santorum’s wife said she thought God had them on a path. Praise God it was the path to defeat.

  • Chops2

    why cant we speak to the ridiculousness of this god tripe? When something small happens we say god works in mysterious ways, when something like Bella’s illness or rape happens, no one says he works in mysterious ways, or says anything about him. Its either gods fault or its not.

    God has nothing to do with his rise and his bar for miracles, I gotta say, is pretty low

  • Chops2

    he thanks god for his rise, others thank him for his fall. Its all in our heads people, wake up.

  • WalterinPA

    As Christians, he and I must worship a different god. I will take mine, thank you!

  • binkynh

    Thank God for “the miracle of” your “rise”???

    You fool. You have the haters of this country to thank.

  • nonneocon

    I prayed to “Apollo” and my prayers were answered by him dropping out.

  • ChrisW1958

    Disgusting he uses the illness of his daughter as a campaign tool

  • nolngeraseasontixhder

    Can’t stand the man, but hope his daughter is ok. Begs the question: “did God micro managed his daughter’s illness so that he would get out of the race”?

  • lufrank1

    Tom_Swift
    Don’t forget to thank God for letting GW kill and maim hundreds of thousands of men, women and children who had nothing to do with 9/11
    Guess “He” was too busy counting hairs on peoples heads or helping Tebow catch a pass.

  • jimmykraktov

    Most of Santorum’s gains in this race were made because people didn’t like the alternative, Romney.

  • ak472

    “we were raising issues that frankly people didn’t want to be raised.”
    Other people did not want to raise issues for a reason. Some issues are better left to non-political environments – incl issues such as religion in politics, faith, contraception, global warming, faith, God, college education, faith etc.

  • Fate1

    Question is, does Santorum believe every young girl with his daughter’s condition deserve access to the same medical care, or is it something that depends on the luck of your parent’s ability to provide?

    Bet no “journalist” asks him that … bet he walks away from the question if it ever happened.

  • Fate1

    No wonder it took so long. Everyone knows you need to pray to Zeus for a lightening response.

  • Fate1

    That is the miracle he describes, getting them to do something good, vote for him.

  • Fate1

    God is a results oriented God. Santorum is out. No miracle of a rise, just a quick, in your face reality of defeat. God is good at defeating man. Read your bible. We’re all sheep to Him. Santorum thought he was more equal than the other sheep. Smack – Reality – You’re Out!

  • Kermit_the_frog

    I’m thanking God right now for him dropping out of the race.

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