Newt Gingrich is already trying to win the support of conservatives who had backed Rick Santorum in the Republican presidential race.
Shortly after Santorum announced that his campaign was coming to an end, Gingrich released a statement saying Santorum had shown "the power of conservative principles." The former House speaker vowed again to stay in the race until the convention, to give conservatives "a real choice." And he urged Santorum's backers to rally behind him.
Ron Paul, meanwhile, is congratulating Santorum for running a "spirited campaign" -- but Paul is describing himself as "the last -- and real -- conservative alternative to Mitt Romney."
As for Romney, he released a statement calling Santorum "an able and worthy competitor" and "an important voice in our party and in the nation."
A Republican source says Santorum spoke with Romney before today's announcement, and that Romney asked to meet with him sometime in the future.
236-a-11-(Terry Madonna, political science professor, Franklin and Marshall College, in AP interview)-"to a Republican"-Political analyst Terry Madonna says Rick Santorum probably recognized that he was in danger of losing the Pennsylvania primary to Mitt Romney. (10 Apr 2012)
<<CUT *236 (04/10/12)>> 00:11 "to a Republican"
226-a-10-(Former Senator Rick Santorum, R-Pa., presidential candidate, in appearance)-"not done fighting"-Former Senator Rick Santorum says he is suspending his campaign. (10 Apr 2012)
<<CUT *226 (04/10/12)>> 00:10 "not done fighting"
GRAPHICSBANK: Rick Santorum, announces he is suspending his candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on texture of campaign sign, partial graphic (10 Apr 2012)
APPHOTO PAGP104: Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum announces he is suspending his candidacy for the presidency effective today, Tuesday, April 10, 2012, in Gettysburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (10 Apr 2012)
<<APPHOTO PAGP104 (04/10/12)>>