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Rick Santorum: 5 highlights from his campaign

As Rick Santorum bows out of the GOP race, we take a look at his campaign's most memorable moments, from feuding with Dan Savage to his sudden southern sweep in the primaries.

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Former US Senator Rick Santorum speaks at a campaign rally at Four Seasons Sheraton on April 3, 2012 in Mars, Pennsylvania. Santorum announced today he is suspending his campaign. (Jeff Swensen/AFP/Getty Images)

Rick Santorum announced the suspension of his campaign today in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, after a long run as the second-place candidate to Mitt Romney. Here, we take a look back at five of the former Pennsylvania senator's most memorable moments. 

More from GlobalPost: BREAKING NEWS: Rick Santorum drops out of the presidential race

1. Santorum's "Google" Problem 

Santorum's long-time feud with sex columnist and commentator Dan Savage blew up after the Iowa primary, when people flocked to Google to learn more about Santorum and found the first search result for the GOP candidate defined Santorum as "1. The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex. 2. Senator Rick Santorum," GlobalPost reported

The webpage was a prank created by Savage in 2003, after Santorum compared homosexual acts to “man on dog” sex. The two continued to spar in the press, as GlobalPost reported, with Santorum saying that he would pray for Dan Savage.

"He [Savage] obviously has some serious issues," Santorum told RealClearReligion. "You look at someone like that who can say and do the things that he's doing and you just pray for him and hopefully he can find peace." 

Savage returned the jab in an e-mail to Mother Jones, writing "Rick can pray for me. I'll gay for him. And we can call it even."

2. A chilly reception in New Hampshire 

On a campaign stop in New Hampshire in January, Santorum was greeted less than warmly by protesters, who called him "a bigot" and booed him at an event in Manchester, GlobalPost reported

The name-calling had stemmed from another New Hampshire visit the GOP candidate made days earlier at New England College, when he brought up his opposition to same-sex marriage, comparing it to polygamy, GlobalPost reported

“Because I believe we are made the way God made man and woman, and man and woman come together to have a union to produce children, which keeps civilization going, and provide the best environment for children to be raised,” Santorum said in response to a student's question about his stance on gay marriage. “I think that is something society should value and should give privileged status over a group of people who want to have a relationship together.”

3. Comparing health care costs to iPads 

Santorum's campaign platform came under fire at another event in Colorado, when he found himself in a heated argument over healthcare with a mother and her sick child, GlobalPost reported. The candidate used the price of an iPad as an example to hammer home his point, after the mother expressed concerns that she was often unable to afford her son's $900 medications. 

"People have no problem paying $900 for an iPad," Santorum said. "But paying $900 for a drug they have a problem with - it keeps you alive. Why? Because you've been conditioned to think health care is something you can get without having to pay for it."

He also used the discussion as an opportunity to draw parallels between President Barack Obama’s controversial health care plan and the plan Mitt Romney passed in Massachusetts. 

4. Shake-up in the South 

Santorum changed the Republican race when he won both the Alabama and Mississippi primaries, blowing Romney's clear lead and positioning himself as an alternative to the wealthy former Massachusetts governor. Political commentators had drummed up Romney's necessity to show he could win the confidence of conservative voters in the South, GlobalPost reported

"We did it again," Rick Santorum said at an event in Lafayette, Louisiana, after hearing he'd won. 

The Alabama loss was especially difficult for Romney's campaign, given that he had significantly outspent Santorum on efforts in the state. 

5. Santorum volunteers himself as Romney's VP

Santorum wanted to win, but he made clear he'd take the White House's number two spot if necessary, GlobalPost reported

When presenter David Brody asked Santorum if he would consider being Romney's Vice President, Santorum replied with a whole-hearted yes, despite his attempts to tarnish Romney's reputation throughout the campaign.  

"Of course," Santorum said. "I mean, look. I would do in this race as I always say, this is the most important race in our country's history. I'm going to do everything I can. I'm doing everything I can."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120410/rick-santorum-campaign-moments