No story just yet on the Fox News website but they’ve confirmed it. Rumors had been circulating for days that Santorum would suspend or exit the campaign, after the latest instance of his daughter Bella being admitted to the hospital. She was released last night.
I won’t be able to update this until later today. Stay tuned to Fox News for the latest developments.
Update – 5:16 PM: The NYT Caucus Blog has more:
3:08 p.m. | Updated Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign on Tuesday, bowing to the inevitability of Mitt Romney’s nomination and ending his improbable, come-from-behind quest to become the party’s conservative standard-bearer in the fall.
“We made a decision over the weekend, that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign today, we are not done fighting,” Mr. Santorum said.
Mr. Santorum made the announcement at a stop in his home state of Pennsylvania after a weekend in which he tended to his 3-year-old daughter, Bella, who had been hospitalized with pneumonia.
Mr. Santorum, who was holding back tears, did not exactly specify why he was ending his presidential bid. He referred to his daughter’s illness, but said she was making great progress and was back home after being hospitalized over the weekend.
Mr. Santorum called Mr. Romney earlier in the day to tell him of his plans to suspend his campaign. Mr. Santorum told Mr. Romney that he is committed to defeating President Obama, but that he is not going to endorse immediately, said a source familiar with the call.
I share Michelle Malkin’s sentiment about Santorum:
Thanks and prayers to Santorum and his family for their energy and passion and dedication to defending life, prosperity, and the American Dream. With a fraction of the money and air time, Santorum came from nowhere to become the most formidable challenger to Mitt Romney through hard work and faith.
I heard Newt Gingrich on Sean Hannity’s radio show earlier this afternoon, and he is continuing to vow to stay in the race until the convention. He also asserted that he and Mitt Romney had vowed to run more “positive” campaigns going forward because ultimately this is about defeating Obama and not tearing down the eventual GOP nominee.
It’s all over but the crying at this point, folks. Mitt Romney is going to be our nominee.