Transcript: Rick Santorum announces suspension of presidential campaign

Transcript of remarks by Rick Santorum announcing the suspension of his presidential campaign on April 10, 2012: 

“Thank you. Thank you very much. It’s always an honor to be here in this beautiful town of Gettysburg – such a historic town.


Read more: Santorum ends presidential bid

“First and foremost, I just want to thank everybody for the outpouring of prayers over the past weekend. We had a difficult weekend. Good Friday was a little bit of a passion for us with our daughter, Bella, who is the joy of our lives, getting unfortunately very sick. We ended up in the hospital all weekend. I’m here to report just to start out things that she is a fighter and she is doing exceptionally well and is back with us and the family. And we are looking forward to spending a lot of great time with her. But it did cause us to think. And as 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.

“Karen and I and the kids sat at the kitchen table and talked about our hopes and fears and our concerns.

“We were very concerned about our role as being the best parents we possibly could to our children and making sure that they have a country where the American dream was still possible.

“And I think a lot of the concerns that we had – that Karen and I had – particularly for our family was that with what was going on in Washington D.C. and all of the problems that you heard me talk about on the campaign trail that that American dream was slipping – not just from the hands of average Americans but for all Americans – that that dream was slipping away. And that we had to – as good parents – go out and do what we could to take on that responsibility for our children and for children across this country.

“And so we started out almost a year ago now in Somerset, Pennsylvania. And I told, well, my story, our story of our family. My grandfather who came to this country and worked in the coal mines. My father who served our country in World War II. As you heard throughout the course of this campaign, talked about my stories and stories of our families.

“But after a while, it became less about my stories and more about what kept us going were your stories. Stories of people across America that we had the privilege of getting the chance to know and to interact with.

“You know, when you travel around – one such story was a guy named Chuck who had a pickup truck and joined our team and drove us around in his Dodge Ram pickup truck for months on end and did so as a volunteer because he believed. He believed that we provided the best opportunity to turn this country around.

“I met a lot of folks in Iowa that I’ll never forget. Folks like Sam Clovis, who’s a talk show host. And I’ll never forget this fighter pilot man of very strong convictions welling up and tearing up about what was going on with our country and particularly with our national security. And laying out not a three-legged stool of Ronald Reagan but a four-legged stool with the Constitution being one of those vitally important legs that we had forgotten about.

“People like Wendy Jensen, who was our best volunteer. Five thousand phone calls. And just a few days before the primary, she – because she was someone who was dealing with a disability, dealing with an illness – she passed away shortly before the caucus. But was someone that I remembered – her passion for the least of us – those who are on the margins of society as many would have looked at her.

“Folks even today because of our daughter Bella who come to – came to our rallies one after another in wheelchairs, bringing their special needs children and holding signs up of children saying ‘I’m for Bella’s dad.’

“Just a beautiful idea of, again, not my story but their stories was what really fueled our campaign and gave us the energy at a time when over and over again we were told, ‘Forget it. You can’t win.’ We were winning. We were winning in a very different way because we were touching hearts, we were raising issues that, you know, frankly a lot of people didn’t want to have raised.

“Our best phone caller after Iowa was a young man who came to our first event in Oklahoma in a wheelchair named Nathaniel, who had spina bifida and who wanted someone who spoke about people again that are overlooked by society or don’t seem to be as valuable as others in society.

“Folks like the Duggars – the Duggar family – who traveled around with us in their bus and gave their time and energy because, again, they believed in the basic importance of having strong families as part of a strong country. That we can’t have a strong economy, as you’ve heard me say over and over again, without strong families and the strong moral fiber that makes us the moral enterprise that is America.

“Even fun things like the sweater vest. Amazing thing that sweater vest. It happened on a night I was doing an event for Mike Huckabee in Des Moines and showed up and everybody was in suits and ties and I showed up in a sweater vest. It turned out that I gave a pretty good speech that night and all of the sudden the Twitterverse went wild saying it must be the sweater vest. And from that point on, the sweater vest became the official wardrobe of the Santorum campaign.

“And the cool thing was we – obviously we have a big part of our campaign is the manufacturing base of the economy. So we, of course, sourced that sweater vest and a company that was making them here in the United States. So we ended up going to that little company up in Bedmidji, Minnesota in the middle of winter. It was a beautiful day and got a chance to see that little plant that had been around for almost 100 years. Turned out that we were the best customer that Bedmiji Wool and Mills has ever had in their entire history.

“So it’s been a wonderful story after story of people who have come forward.

“Two girls who put together a song in Tulsa, Oklahoma called ‘Game on,’ who have traveled and followed us around. And over a million hits on YouTube of that catchy little tune that they were inspired to give.

“And even today, we have folks working for us in Texas to make it a winner-take-all primary because they want to make sure that we have the best opportunity for Texas and for conservatives to have a voice throughout the course of this primary. It has been inspiring to me the stories after stories that we’ve been engaged in.

“It turns out that it really wasn’t my voice that I was out communicating. It was your voice. The voice that you gave me from the stories and experience I had.

“And that’s what – people say, ‘How did this happen?’ How were we able to come from nowhere?

“It’s because I was smart enough to figure out that if I understood and felt at a very deep level what you were experiencing across America and tried to be a witness to that, to try to be, in a sense, an interpreter of that, that your voice could be heard and miracles could happen. And so it did.

“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 and I want to thank all of you. Thank all of you across this country for what you have given, well hopefully not just me and our family but what you’ve given which is a voice to those who in many cases are voiceless.

“And we have tried to be a witness not just to the – for your stories and your voice but to provide a positive and hopeful vision. Not a negative campaign.

“We traveled around and did 385 townhall meetings in Iowa. We weren’t out there trashing anybody. We went out on our campaign as from that point on painted a hopeful positive vision for our country. One that was based on how can we get this country turned around not just economically – not just economically – but reflecting the hopes of Americans not just the fears of Americans. The hopes of Americans is to what we can do to confront the violent, radical Islam and particularly the scourge of Iran and what we can do to take on the problems of a sluggish economy and a Washington that is growing so big.

“We put forth concrete, solid plans that many of which came from the people that I had an opportunity to interact with throughout the course and time in this campaign.

“We did focus a lot on the families and the dignities of human life and the moral enterprise that is this America.

“And I know Joe Klein will be upset about this but one of my favorite articles was one that he wrote where his headline was ‘Rick Santorum’s inconvenient truths’ and talked about things that maybe we should talk about a little bit more but somehow get shoved aside in the public discourse.

“We talked about how we were going to build a great country from the bottom up and we carried around our copy of the Constitution. And of course, it was that Constitution that got the Tea Party folks excited legitimately so about the operator’s manual of America being discarded by those in Washington.


“And I think what I tried to bring to the battle is what Abraham Lincoln brought to this battlefield back in 1863 in November 19, when he talked about this country being conceived of liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. He was quoting, of course, the Declaration of Independence – conceived in that Declaration. And we talked about that Declaration as the heart of America exceptionalism as to who we are. Because we can never be a country that can go forward as a great and powerful country again unless we remember who we are and what makes us Americans.

“That’s what our campaign was about. About what made us Americans. How we build this country from the bottom up and how if we are going to be successful in the future how we must believe in ourselves and believe in that ability to go forward and do the same thing.

“Against all odds, we won 11 states, millions of voters, millions of votes. We won more counties than all the people in this race combined. We were able to spread that message far and wide across this great country.

“What we found is that while we found that support, I found a deeper love for this country. Every state I went to and those of you who followed me around I was saying, ‘I really love this state.’ It was a love affair for me going from state to state, seeing the differences but seeing the wonderful, wonderful people of this country who care deeply about where this country is going in the future and care deeply about those who are out there paddling alone, who are feeling left behind and, in some respect, feeling hopeless, and want to do something.

“Well, ladies and gentlemen, we made the decision to get into this race at our kitchen table against all the odds. And we made the decision over the weekend that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting. We are going to continue to fight for those voices. We are going to continue to fight for the Americans who stood up and gave us that air under our wings that allowed us to accomplish things that no political expert would have ever expected.

“There is a lot of greatness – a lot of greatness – in this country, and we just need leaders who believe in that, who are willing to give voice to that, who are willing to raise us up instead of trying to provide for us and do for us what we can better do for ourselves. That’s the message that came to me and it’s one that I feel very, very good about continuing to talk to Americans about.

“You know, I walked out of the Iowa caucus victory and said, ‘Game on.’ I know a lot of folks are going to write – maybe those even at the White House – ‘Game over.’ But this game is long, long, long, way from over. We are going to continue to go out there and fight to make sure that we defeat President Barack Obama, that we win the House back, and that we take the United States Senate. And we stand for the values that make us Americans, that make us the greatest country in the history of the world – that shining city on the hill – to be a beacon for everybody for freedom around the world. Thank you all very much. God bless you.”

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  1. Pingback: Santorum ends presidential bid | What The Folly?!

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