POSTED: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 3:30pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 6:54pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Rick Santorum has called it quits, ending a presidential candidacy that saw the long-shot candidate surge to victory in a string of contests.
At a news conference in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Santorum cited a weekend of reflection with his family prompted in part by the hospitalization Friday of his 3-year-old daughter, Bella.
Santorum racked up wins in 11 contests, beginning with the Iowa caucuses, despite being vastly outmatched in money and endorsements by the Mitt Romney campaign.
He characterized his campaign's successes as a "miracle after miracle."
The candidate bows out ahead of the April 24th primary in his home state of Pennsylvania, where the Romney campaign was prepared to spend millions of dollars to thwart Santorum.
A statement issued by Mitt Romney called Santorum "an able and worthy competitor" who "proved himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation."
By "suspending" rather than formally terminating a campaign, a candidate can continue to raise money to retire any debt.