Romney pulls TV ad while Santorum tends to sick child

by
April 10, 2012
By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

Mitt Romney is pulling a negative TV ad from Pennsylvania “out of deference” to Rick Santorum, who is off the campaign trail today to be with his ailing daughter.

The Santorum campaign announced over the weekend that the GOP presidential candidate would spend time with his wife and youngest daughter, who was hospitalized Friday. Isabella Santorum, who is 3 years old and known as Bella, has trisomy 18 — a rare genetic disorder that is typically fatal.

A Romney ad bringing up Santorum’s huge Senate re-election loss in 2006 begin airing in Pennsylvania today. TV stations have been alerted to swap it out with a more positive ad about Romney.

“We have done this out of deference to Sen. Santorum’s decision to suspend his campaign for personal family reasons,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.

The Pennsylvania primary is April 24, and recent polls show Santorum behind Romney. The former Pennsylvania senator has said the Pennsylvania primary is a “must win” for his presidential campaign.

Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley said Bella is recovering and could be released from a northern Virginia hospital by the end of today.

This is the the second time that Santorum has come off the trail to deal with Bella’s health. Santorum has talked about how his daughter wasn’t given much chance to live past her first birthday, and she was hospitalized in January with a bout of pneumonia.

Santorum announced several Pennsylvania campaign appearances for Tuesday, including a morning rally in Bedford and an evening event in Lancaster.

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