On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum announced that he is suspending his 2016 presidential campaign. Santorum, speaking on Fox News' "On the Record," then endorsed fellow candidate and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
"We decided that I think we could be better advocates for that in supporting someone who shared those values and is in a better position to do well in this race," Santorum told Greta Van Susteren. "We decided that we wanted to find a candidate that really espoused the values that we believed in, someone who really focused their campaign on trying to help those who are struggling on the margins. That's why we decided to support Marco Rubio."
In the 2012 Republican presidential nomination race, Santorum finished a surprising second behind the eventual nominee, Mitt Romney, capturing six states and 234 delegates – even ahead of libertarian icon Ron Paul and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. This was achieved in spite of his record defeat (by an 18-point margin) for an incumbent in a Senate election in 30 years and his “Google-problem” - instigated by gay activist Dan Savage’s web campaign in 2003, which sought to popularize an alternate definition of “Santorum”, in retaliation to Santorum’s equating the issue of gay marriage to bestiality and pedophilia.
Santorum however, has never been one to shy away from a controversy. A passionate and opinionated man, even his critics readily admit that this articulate socio-fiscal conservative believes in his own convictions, and never plays to the gallery.
His stances on national security, economy, social issues and opposition against the gay agenda mirrors those of the Republican conservative grassroots, and being one of the few openly religious top level politician in the party accords him a strong claim on the religious base of the GOP. Santorum captivating oratory skills and charisma lends further weight to his credibility as a potential candidate.