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Rick Santorum Drops Out, Endorses Marco Rubio For President

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is ending his presidential campaign.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ended his White House campaign on Wednesday and threw his support behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

"We are suspending our campaign as of this moment," Santorum said on Fox News Channel's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.

Santorum said that after much prayer, he had decided that he was suspending his campaign. After talking to Rubio for more than an hour on Tuesday, Santorum said, he decided to back him, calling him the best person to continue the message of fighting ISIS and defending "the central role of the family."

"He is the new generation, and someone who can bring this country together, not just moderates and conservatives, but young and old," Santorum said.

In an email to his supporters, Santorum told them it was "time to coalesce around the strongest candidate who will stand up for conservative values, be a statesman on the world stage, and has the ability to win a general election."

Four years ago, Santorum had an improbable rise after a narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses, though he was not officially declared the winner until weeks later thanks to reporting glitches. Still, he became the choice for many conservative and evangelical voters against Mitt Romney and was the last remaining candidate in the race until he dropped out in April.

But this year, the conservative former senator never caught fire amid a more crowded field filled with flashier, outsider candidates. Mired in the low single digits in polling, Santorum never made a main stage debate either, repeatedly relegated to the undercard.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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