Update 3:45 p.m.: Politico reports that the Santorum and Romney campaigns has been in talks all weekend, culminating in Santorum's personal phone call to Romney just before his public announcement. So this all seems to have been a move done in concert with the Romney campaign, and yet, Santorum communications director Hogan Gidley said on MSNBC that Romney was courting Santorum's endorsement, so that means ... Santorum still has to formally endorse Romney, and it'll be interesting to see how that plays out. Meanwhile, Santorum's campaign also e-mailed supporters asking for help getting his campaign out of debt. "I am asking you to consider one more contribution of $25, $50 or even $73.10," he wrote. $73.10 is a very specific suggestion...

Update 3:12 p.m.: Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have both released statements congratulating Rick Santorum and reminding us that they still exist. Gingrich's statement goes fishing for Santorum supporters: "I am committed to staying in this race all the way to Tampa so that the conservative movement has a real choice.I humbly ask Senator Santorum’s supporters to visit Newt.org to review my conservative record and join us as we bring these values to Tampa." And Ron Paul sounds very similar in his statement: "Dr. Paul is now the last – and real – conservative alternative to Mitt Romney." (Like America, he must have forgotten about Gingrich, too.) Politico has both statements. Worth noting that with the delegate math such as it is, neither of these two candidates really has much chance of stopping Romney from winning the nomination. The New York Times writes fairly bluntly, "Mr. Santorum had been the last remaining candidate with a potential shot at stopping Mr. Romney — and even that opportunity was dwindling fast."

Update 2:43 pm: Mitt Romney's campaign has sent out an email congratulating Santorum on a well-fought campaign. "Senator Santorum is an able and worthy competitor, and I congratulate him on the campaign he ran... He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation," per Talking Points Memo.

Update 2:34 p.m.: Now he finally gets to the point, during his Gettysburg speech: "Ladies and gentlemen we made the decision to get into this race at our kitchen table, against all the odds, and we made a decision over the weekend that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we'll suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting we are going to continue to fight ... This game is a long, long, long way from over." He mentions beating Barack Obama, winning the House and Senate, and "standing for the values that make us Americans." Notice he frames it as "beating Barack Obama" not "sending Mitt Romney to the White House." In fact, he didn't mention Romney once. Nevertheless, as soon as he finished speaking, Megyn Kelly cut to the chase on what all this means: "It appears that we may be at the beginning, in earnest, of the election contest between Governor Mitt Romney and President Obama." Here we go!
 

Update 2:25 p.m.: Santorum is now speaking from Gettysburg, first thanking people for supporting him while he stayed in the hospital with his daughter, Bella. "Good Friday was a bit of a passion play for us, with Bella," he said, adding, "This was a time for prayer and thought this past weekend" and "She is a fighter and is doing exceptionally well." Now he's mentioning some highlights from the campaign and the people he met on the trail, "even fun things like the sweater vest," he says. We love that. 

Original Post: Outlets from The New York Times to The Hill have confirmed Rick Santorum will suspend his campaign for president Tuesday, effectively handing the nomination to Mitt Romney, and someone tells Yahoo News (probably the Romney campaign) that Santorum called Romney to concede. The Times's Michael Shear and Jim Rutenberg cite two Santorum campaign advisers, noting that the candidate is "bowing to the inevitability of Mitt Romney’s nomination and ending his improbable, come-from-behind quest to become the party’s conservative standard-bearer in the fall." This news comes just as Santorum had returned to the campaign trail Tuesday morning. He'd taken several days off while his daughter Bella was hospitalized. Perhaps that gave him some time for reflecting on his campaign's future. He's scheduled to speak in a few moments and we'll have updates when he does.