Republican Santorum drops out of White House race, endorses Rubio

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Rick Santorum Drops Out of Presidential Race


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rick Santorum withdrew from the race for the U.S. Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday and said he would endorse Senator Marco Rubio in the race for the White House.

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Santorum, a 57-year-old former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, won the Iowa caucuses four years ago but managed only 1 percent of the vote in the Iowa contest on Monday.

Santorum, in an appearance on Fox News announcing his withdrawal and endorsement of Rubio, called the Florida senator "a tremendously gifted young man and ... a born leader."

He said Rubio "can bring this country together, not just moderates and conservatives but young and old."

Rubio, 44, finished third in Monday's Iowa caucuses, the first contest in the state-by-state battle to decide who will be the Republican nominee in the November presidential election.

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Rick Santorum on the campaign trail
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Republican Santorum drops out of White House race, endorses Rubio
GARNER, IOWA - AUGUST 24: Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum continues to campaign through Iowa on August 24, 2015 in Garner, Iowa. Here he stops at Stellar Industries for an informal 'town hall' style meeting with locals and employee's. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, waits to speak at a news conference on the immigration system at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. Santorum discussed the need to secure the border, reform visa programs, reduce current legal immigration levels by 25% and create a workable program for America's agricultural sector. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - August 15: Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum mans the grill as he cooks pork chops at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, August 15, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, holds a glass of beer he poured during a campaign stop at Confluence Brewing Co. in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. Santorum will speak at Iowa State Fair's politics soapbox on Aug. 15. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum speaks during the Republican presidential primary debate on August 6, 2015 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Seven candidates are debating before the top 10 candidates face off during prime time. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential hopeful and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum is seen at the Quicken Loans Arena ahead of the Republican presidential primary debate on August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Republican candidate for USA President and former Senator from Pennsylvania , Rick Santorum visits 'Cavuto: Coast To Coast' at FOX Studios on July 22, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
AMES, IA - JULY 18: Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum fields questions at The Family Leadership Summit at Stephens Auditorium on July 18, 2015 in Ames, Iowa. According to the organizers, the purpose of The Family Leadership Summit is to inspire, motivate, and educate conservatives. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Republican U.S. presidential hopeful and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) speaks during the 'Road to Majority' conference June 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Conservatives gathered at the annual event held by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Concerned Women for America to discuss politics and address current events. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during an appearance on Bloomberg Television's 'With All Due Respect' in New York, U.S., on Thursday, June 11, 2015. Santorum, who opposes a path to legalization for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., stopped short last week of calling for their deportation. Photographer: Louis Lanzano/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CABOT, PA - MAY 27: Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) announces his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president at Penn United Technologies May 27, 2015 in Cabot, Pennsylvania, This is the second run for Santorum, who finished runner-up in 2012 to nominee Mitt Romney. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas finished first in Iowa, putting a dent in real estate tycoon Donald Trump's standing as the Republican front-runner.

Santorum's withdrawal leaves nine Republican candidates in the 2016 White House race, with the next contest in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky announced earlier on Wednesday he was suspending his campaign after a fifth-place finish in Iowa.

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A favorite of the Christian right, Santorum announced his White House bid in May with an eye on economic issues.

He campaigned on a promise to boost the middle class,eliminate the Internal Revenue Service and crack down on illegalimmigration.

Santorum won a reputation as a strong social conservative in Congress, where he opposed same-sex marriage and the teaching of evolution in schools.

Data curated by InsideGov

(Reporting by Eric Beech; additional reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

SAP is the sponsor of this content. It was independently created by Reuters' editorial staff and funded in part by SAP, which otherwise has no role in this coverage.

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