Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum shakes hands with supporters after speaking at his primary-night event on January 21, 2012 in Mark Clark Hall at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. (credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Rick Santorum is facing political reality. He is suspending his campaign today — but essentially, he’s dropping his run for the White House.

Santorum is bowing out before the Pennsylvania primary, where he faced the real possibility of losing the primary to front-runner Mitt Romney. If he stayed in, and lost his own home state, some political analysts believe that he would not have been able to run for President again, and it would have been a huge embarrassment.

Santorum has trailed Romney by a wide margin in the all-important delegate count. While he was able to surprise a lot of people by his wins in 11 states, he wasn’t able to capitalize on them.

In his speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Santorum said, after his 3-year-old daughter Bella was hospitalized this past weekend, he and his family had time to think and pray, and consider their roles to be the best parents. He said that Bella is out of the hospital and is a fighter. But his political fight is over, for now.

Santorum said that the number one goal now is for Republicans to win the White House, hold onto the House and capture the Senate. Mitt Romney will now be the nominee once he captures all 1,144 delegates.

During the past few weeks, a number of prominent Republicans, including former President George H.W. Bush, called for the party to unite behind Romney. But while Santorum is getting out of the race, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are both vowing to stay in. Paul will be here in North Texas on Wednesday. He will hold a luncheon fundraiser in Addison and an event in Fort Worth on Wednesday evening.

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