(Editor’s note: The following is from Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of, who pioneered political direct mail and has been called “one of the creators of the modern conservative movement” (The Nation) and one of the “conservatives of the century” (Washington Times))

MANASSAS, Va., April 10, 2012 ( – The grassroots conservative activists who powered Rick Santorum’s campaign of course respect his decision to suspend his campaign.

Conservatives are deeply in Rick’s debt for making their issues the theme of his campaign. That Rick Santorum came from the back of the pack with virtually no resources to threaten the establishment candidate speaks volumes about the power of conservative ideas to win elections.

Conservatives have been looking for a leader ever since Ronald Reagan left the public stage. Rick has been one of the few public figures to regularly unite all four legs of the winning 2010 conservative coalition: social conservatives, national defense conservatives, economic conservatives, and the small government constitutional conservatives of the Tea Party.

Party leaders must recognize that many movement conservatives believe they were denied a voice in the selection of the Republican presidential nominee because party insiders had their thumb on the scale. From ignoring their own party rules on delegate allocation, to jumping the gun on setting up joint campaign and fundraising efforts with Mitt Romney, it appears to many grassroots movement conservatives the fix for Romney was in.

Today, Rick Santorum is the only conservative who can provide the national leadership necessary to bring these conservative voters back to the fold and, most importantly, to demonstrate that conservatives are not merely some interest group to be placated—conservatives ARE the Republican Party.

Without the united and enthusiastic support of most all conservatives, Republican candidates, from President to the local level, will have an exceedingly difficult challenge winning in November.