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Huff Post

Sam Stein

Posted: 04/10/2012  2:03 pm

In a surprise decision Tuesday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) will announce that he is suspending his presidential campaign, The Huffington Post’s Jon Ward has learned and several other outlets have reported.

The Pennsylvania Republican had taken a break from the campaign trail for several days to tend to his ailing daughter, Bella. He had pledged to continue campaigning through the upcoming Pennsylvania primary. But the combination of his daughter’s sickness and recent poll numbers showing him possibly losing his home state apparently prompted the early departure.

The announcement is expected to come during an address in Gettysburg, Penn.

Santorum’s decision removes any lingering doubt that Mitt Romney will end up the Republican presidential nominee. The former Massachusetts Governor held a seemingly insurmountable delegate lead prior to Santorum’s departure, though his campaign was planning on spending between one and two million dollars against Santorum in Pennsylvania.

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The Huffington Post
First Posted: 02/26/2012 11:12 am Updated: 02/26/2012 12:40 pm

Rick Santorum on Sunday took on of separation of church and state.

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state are absolute,” he told ‘This Week’ host George Stephanopoulos. “The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country…to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up.”

The GOP candidate was responding to comments he made last October. He had said that he “almost threw up” after reading JFK’s 1960 speech in which he declared his commitment to the separation of church and state.

Santorum also on Sunday told Meet The Press host David Gregory that separation of church and state was “not the founders’ vision.”

The GOP candidate has been doubling down on religious rhetoric in an effort to court evangelical voters ahead of Super Tuesday. Last week, he questioned Obama’s spiritual beliefs.

“[Obama believes in] some phony ideal, some phony theology … not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology,” he said.

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The Huffington Post
First Posted: 02/16/2012  2:36 pm Updated: 02/16/2012  4:35 pm

Foster Friess, a top donor to a Rick Santorum-aligned super PAC, dismissed the importance of his candidate’s stances on social issues in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Thursday, adding a bizarre statement about birth control.

Friess was asked about Santorum’s beliefs on social issues such as abortion and gay rights, which have led many to question his viability in a general election.

“I get such a chuckle when these things come out,” he said. He added, “We have jihadist camps being set up in Latin America, which Rick has been warning about and people seem to be so preoccupied with sex — I think it says something about our culture. We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are.”

Friess then turned to contraception. “This contraceptive thing, my gosh it’s such [sic] inexpensive. Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly,” he said.

Mitchell, taken aback, said, “Excuse me, I’m just trying to catch my breath from that” and changed the subject. Friess later described Santorum as “truly the post-partisan candidate,” a line ascribed to then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008.

Santorum said that he personally believes in the Catholic Church’s position on contraception, which is that it should not be used by members of the religion, but that he thinks it should be available. He noted Wednesday that he had voted for funding for contraception “domestically and internationally, and would not support any law that would prevent that.”

Still, Santorum has strongly opposed the Obama administration’s rule requiring most religiously-affiliated employers to provide contraception in their health plans. He said in 2006 that he thinks that contraception is “harmful to women.”

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CNN PoliticalTicker…

February 15th, 2012

04:00 PM ET

3 hours ago

politicalmugshot
Posted by

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama’s approval rating is back to 50% for the first time in more than eight months, and he currently holds an edge against all the remaining Republican presidential candidates in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups, according to a new national survey.

And a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday also indicates that the GOP’s advantage on enthusiasm has been erased, and that the number of Americans who think things are going well in the country is on the rise. Six out of ten say things are going poorly in the country, but four out of ten say things are going well, up 15 points since November.

See full results (pdf) Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

“Does that mean it’s morning in America?  It is for Democrats – a solid majority of them now say things are going well in the country.  But overall, six in ten still have a gloomy outlook about the state of the country,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Optimism is on the rise among independent voters, with a notable increase among men as well, although a majority of both groups still think things are going poorly.”

The rise of Americans who say things are going well appears to be helping the president, whose approval rating now stands at 50%, with 48% saying they disapprove of the job Obama’s doing in the White House. The president’s approval rating has edged up three points from last month and is up six points from November. The last time Obama’s approval rating was at 50% or above was last May, as a result of the killing of Osama bin Laden, and it stayed there for about a month before fading.

“Independents now have a net-positive view of President Obama,” says Holland.  “His approval rating has also reached 50% in the suburbs.”

Looking ahead to November, the poll indicates that the president’s re-election chances are on the rise. In hypothetical matchups among registered voters, Obama holds a 51%-46% margin over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, leads both former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas by the same 52%-45% advantage, and beats former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 55%-42%.

The president appears to have gained ground since January against Romney, Paul, and Gingrich. Only Santorum has held steady. The poll also indicates that Obama wins a majority of independent voters in all four general election match-ups.

“More than six in ten Americans believe that the policies of Romney and Gingrich favor the rich; Santorum and Paul do better on that measure, but only a quarter feel that way about Obama,” says Holland.

The survey suggests that the contentious Republican primary season has decreased enthusiasm among Republican voters, virtually erasing the “enthusiasm gap” that promised to provide the ultimate GOP presidential nominee with a major advantage in the fall.  In October, 64% of Republicans said that they were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for president, compared to only 43% of Democratic voters.  GOP enthusiasm since that time has tumbled 13 points, to 51%, virtually the same as the Democrats’ level of enthusiasm.

Other findings in the poll: 67% of the public says they are either very or somewhat angry about the way things are going in the country, down five points from September. And 31% approve of the job Democrats in Congress are doing, with 22% giving congressional Republicans a thumbs up. Both numbers are virtually unchanged from last autumn. The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from February 10-13, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

SOURCE

Also see:

Gingrich: Santorum ‘misunderstands’ modern warfare

Santorum slams Obama administration as ‘elite snobs’

Romney surrogates attack Santorum’s record

CNN Poll: Romney’s likability fading

CNN Poll: Gender and income gaps in GOP nomination battle

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LAURIE KELLMAN 02/ 8/12 12:52 PM ETAssociated Press AP via: Huff Post

WASHINGTON — Resurgent Rick Santorum said his sweep of three GOP contests earned his shoestring campaign $250,000 overnight, cash he needs to take his upstart bid for the Republican presidential nomination to Mitt Romney’s turf.

Santorum’s stunning victories Tuesday in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado marked his best performance thus far in the rollicking contest for the Republican presidential nomination – and Romney’s worst. The better-funded and organized former Massachusetts governor shrugged off his poor showing, but his losses were stinging reminders of a stubborn weakness: Romney’s inability to appeal to the conservatives at the base of the party.

It was far from clear, though, that Santorum would be able to turn his momentum into the millions of dollars he would need to overtake Romney. But in the hours after his victory, Santorum said he’s finally being heard and supported by conservatives who want a clear contrast to President Barack Obama.

“I think last night we raised a quarter of a million dollars online,” Santorum told CNN’s “Starting Point” the morning after. “We are going to have the money we need to make the case we want to make.”

That overnight haul was part of a larger two-day take of $400,000, Santorum told reporters following an event Wednesday near Dallas with a group of pastors.

And to take the fight to Romney’s virtual home states. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Santorum said he’d debate Romney in Arizona, the home of a sizable Mormon population and a key patron, Sen. John McCain, the GOP presidential candidate in 2008. Also on Santorum’s travel schedule: Michigan, where Romney’s father was governor.

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Mitt Romney Wins: Florida Primary Results 2012

Huff Post- Posted: 1/31/12 08:00 PM ET  |  Updated: 1/31/12 08:08 PM ET

Mitt Romney was projected the winner of Tuesday’s presidential primary election in Florida by the Associated Press.

The former Massachusetts governor was running ahead in the polls going into the contest.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was projected to finish in second place. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum was projected to finish in third with U.S. Rep. Ron Paul in fourth.

Ahead of Tuesday, Gingrich said he intended to continue his campaign for the White House regardless of the outcome of the contest.

This is a developing story… More information to come…

Check out the live blog below for the latest developments out of Florida.

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