Santorum will return to campaign trail Tuesday

Rick Santorum’s campaign announced Saturday the former Pennsylvania senator will stump in his home state and Missouri over four days next week, an indication his exit from the presidential race is not imminent.

The campaign released a schedule of six events for Tuesday through Friday amid increasing speculation that Santorum could drop his White House bid before the Pennsylvania primary on April 24.

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After being swept by Mitt Romney in three primaries last week, Santorum is taking a break from the campaign trail over the Easter weekend. On Friday, his campaign announced that Santorum and his wife, Karen, had taken their daughter Bella to the hospital for the second time in the last three months. Bella Santorum suffers from Trisomy 18, a chromosomal disorder that is usually fatal in young children.

Santorum has said he must win Pennsylvania, his home state, but his once-wide lead there has eroded as Romney has steadily expanded his edge in delegates and gained the public support of the Republican establishment. In four other states that vote on April 24 - all in the Northeast - Romney has a substantial lead.


In recent days, Santorum staffers have reported confusion about the candidate’s schedule and plans for the upcoming dates, and some allies have suggested that he would drop out if it appeared he would suffer a humiliating loss in Pennsylvania.

Among the events announced by the campaign Santorum is an appearance with Dr. James Dobson, founder of the social conservative group Focus on the Family. After spending the middle of the week in Pennsylvania, Santorum will head to Missouri for a pair of events on Friday.