Posted at 11:10 AM ET, 03/01/2012

Andrew Breitbart’s death a great loss, Santorum and Romney say

This story has been updated.

DALTON, Ga. -- Republican presidential contenders responded with sorrow Thursday to the news that conservative publisher and activist Andrew Breitbart had died.

Rick Santorum told reporters here Thursday morning that he was “crestfallen” to hear of Breitbart’s death.


Conservative activist Andrew Breitbart. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
“That’s shocking,” said Santorum, who was holding a rally at Dalton City Hall, said upon being told the news of Breitbart’s passing.

“Obviously, prayers go to him and his family and, wow, it’s a big shock,” the former Pennsylvania senator added. “What a powerful force. It’s almost -- you think of anybody out there who’s more energy, and just, out there constantly, driving and pushing. What a huge loss, in my opinion for our country, and certainly for the conservative movement. My prayers go out to his family. I’m really sorry to hear it.”

Presidential contender Mitt Romney responded to the news of Breitbart’s death via Twitter:

“Ann and I are deeply saddened by the passing of @AndrewBreitbart: brilliant entrepreneur, fearless conservative, loving husband and father,” he tweeted Thursday morning.

Staff writer Felicia Sonmez also contributed to this story.

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By  |  11:10 AM ET, 03/01/2012

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