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Santorum: Money was not the main reason for dropping out

 

In a conference call with supporters that featured multiple appeals for donations to retire his campaign debt, Rick Santorum said money was not the main reason he dropped from the presidential race.

During the call, advertised as a thank you to supporters, Santorum said it was his inability to become the sole conservative alternative in the GOP race and the delegate-rich state of Texas not holding a winner-take-all primary that were the main reasons for his exit.

"I know there's been a lot of articles written that somehow we dropped out because we ran out of money.  That just is a little, very, very small piece of the story," Santorum said. "The bottom line is we wanted to take this race as far as we could to the point where we felt that we could be successful."


But shortly after he suspended his campaign last Tuesday, an e-mail was sent to supporters asking for help to retire his debt. Debt would burden Santorum's goals going forward, the e-mail read – the same argument the call's moderator and campaign adviser Mark Rogers made to supporters Monday night.

Part of that plan, Santorum said, consisted of asking his competitors to drop out. "The other candidates who were still in the race, we solicited them to see whether they might be willing to join our team and help us be successful in a coalition of conservatives," he said.

Now, the most pressing question about Santorum's defunct candidacy is whether or not he will endorse Romney, who is on his way to secure the nomination. Santorum said he has not yet spoken to his former rival but that he has talked to Newt Gingrich.

Over the next two weeks Santorum will unveil more plans and expressed a desire to work toward securing strong conservative candidates in House and Senate races across the country.

Continuing to focus on faith and family that became the cornerstone to his underdog campaign are what Santorum and his wife seem most focused on in the immediate future, particularly at the convention.

"We want to make sure that our delegates go, get a chance to go to the convention and have a say as to, particularly, you know, what's the platform of the party and making sure they have an impact on the convention process,” Santorum said. “Our plan is to continue to work with the states to make sure that our delegates are seated, and that we have the opportunity to have our voice, a strong conservative voice on all the issues, be heard at the convention."

Karen Santorum also thanked supporters. While speaking with supporters, the couple was feeding their youngest daughter, Bella, who was rushed to the hospital on Good Friday with pneumonia during what she described as "one of the worst days of our life."  

Three-year-old Bella Santorum, who was born with the genetic disorder Trisomy 18, would be released from the hospital the day after Easter. But it was the second time this year that the young girl had to be rushed to the hospital to fight for her life.

While Karen Santorum described the "tsunami of emotions" the family has experienced since her husband's exit, they made clear they planned to be a voice on the national stage for a long time to come.

"We feel as strongly now as we did before that we were called to do this. We all know just because God calls you to do something doesn't mean he calls you to be successful in doing it," Santorum said. "We believe in so many way that we were successful in bringing up issues that were so, so important to our country."