POLITICS
02/03/2016 02:43 pm ET Updated Feb 03, 2016

Rick Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign, Endorses Marco Rubio

There goes another one.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (R) suspended his presidential campaign on Wednesday.

"We are suspending this campaign as of this moment," he said on Fox News.

He also announced that he is endorsing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

The news, first reported by CNN and the Washington Post earlier on Wednesday, comes after Santorum finished with just one percent of the vote in the 2016 Iowa GOP caucus. The loss had already prompted his campaign to postpone a planned 46-county tour in South Carolina.

Santorum had hoped to earn the backing of evangelical Christian voters and peel away supporters from some of his conservative rivals, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

He announced his presidential run on May 27 in a Pennsylvania factory, joining an already-crowded field of GOP contenders. His highly conservative platform, fueled by his own blue-collar roots, rested upon reining in spending and fighting on behalf of the American worker.

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"It’s time to revitalize manufacturing, processing, construction and energy sectors of our economy again so America can once again thrive," his campaign website said.

On some issues, he veered away from many in his party, proposing to raise the minimum wage by 50 cents per year over three years during a CNN Republican debate.

Santorum is also known for his hawkish foreign policy. He has staunchly opposed the nuclear deal struck between world powers and Iran, calling it "the greatest betrayal of American national security" in U.S. history. He also advocated for 10,000 U.S. troops to defeat the Islamic State, a terrorist group also referred to as ISIS or ISIL.

His run has been marred by controversial comments on abortion, homosexuality and immigration. In August, he said that undocumented parents are "like someone who robs a bank because they want to feed their family."

Santorum ran in the 2012 presidential election on a similar platform, but with a greater degree of success. He won 11 primaries and campaigned in all 99 of Iowa's counties on a tight budget, leading him to a very narrow victory in the 2012 Iowa caucus. (He finished 11th out of 12 candidates in this year's Iowa caucus.)

Some of his comments, however, landed him in hot water throughout the campaign. He famously told Fox News' Chris Wallace in 2011 that gay soldiers "cause problems for people living in close quarters."

Santorum didn't drop out of that primary race until April of 2012, after a series of defeats and the hospitalization of his daughter, Bella, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder. At that point, he ostensibly handed the 2012 GOP nomination over to Mitt Romney.

Santorum served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995 and in the Senate from 1995 to 2007. In 1996, he co-authored a GOP welfare reform bill, which President Bill Clinton ultimately signed into law.

This story was updated with details of the official announcement and Santorum's endorsement of Rubio.

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