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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Clubs pleased with Santorum’s suspension

Rick Santorum’s announcement to suspend his campaign relieved both conservative and liberal clubs on campus.

Members of the College Republicans and the Young Democrats alike said they were happy to see him go.

During a press conference in Gettysburg, Pa., on Tuesday, Santorum told attendees that he and his family made the decision to suspend his campaign after a yearlong effort filled with tours, debates and campaign events. His announcement came soon after his daughter, Bella, was released from the hospital, where she was being treated for complications from her chromosomal disorder.

“Finally” and “thank God” were College Republicans President Lauren Bouton’s first thoughts upon hearing the news, she said.

“Members of our club thought he was hypocritical,” said Bouton, a political science senior. “Republicans say they are for smaller government, and it’s annoying when you have Santorum, who is only for smaller government on certain things.”

College Republican club members support Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, Bouton said. In fact, she could not recall one member who wanted Santorum to receive the Republican presidential nomination. This is because he did not represent the younger crowd, she said, regardless of political affiliation.

“He was obviously big anti-gay and anti pro-choice,” she said. “That doesn’t fit well with the young Republican crowd.”

Although Young Democrats President Erik Lundstrom said the suspension of Santorum’s campaign was not unexpected, adding that he was more surprised that none of the Republican presidential nominees have given President Barack Obama a “run for his money.”

“The longer the (Republican) primary goes on, the more they (the nominees) are fighting against themselves,” said Lundstrom, a political science junior. “They are not focusing on the president, and that’s disappointing.”

Additionally, Lundstrom said the former nominee was “very, very radical” and that he alienated himself from moderate voters. Santorum’s comment that the idea of separating church and state is vomit-inducing was “very offensive for a lot of us,” Lundstrom said.

Suspending a campaign: What does it mean?

When candidates suspend their campaigns instead of ending them completely, they can still collect contributions to relieve campaign-related debts. This allows them to save their reputation for “future runs,” according to Barbara Norrander, a professor in the School of Government and Public Policy, and allows “party regulars” to continue their support through contributions.

Santorum also gets to keep the 285 delegates he already won during the primary process. He was “pretty far behind Romney” in his delegate count, Norrander said, and candidates who trail significantly tend to drop out of the race.

“He can release them (the delegates) if he wants to, but suspending helps with the financial aspect,” she said. “He can keep raising money to pay off campaign debts he has.”

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