July 27th, 2010
12:08 PM ET
4 years ago

Santorum huddles with former aides to talk 2012

Former Sen. Rick Santorum met privately last week with several of his former Capitol Hill staffers to pitch the idea of a presidential bid in 2012.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum met privately last week with several of his former Capitol Hill staffers to pitch the idea of a presidential bid in 2012.

Washington (CNN) - As if the repeated trips to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina weren't clues enough, former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania met privately last week with several of his former Capitol Hill staffers to pitch the idea of a presidential bid in 2012.

According to GOP sources familiar with the meeting, which took place last Tuesday in Washington, Santorum conveyed his seriousness about a possible campaign and solicited his former aides for advice.

Though the 2012 Republican field has yet to take shape, Santorum, who lost his 2006 re-election bid by 18 points, would enter the race as a decided underdog against better-funded opponents with growing national political operations, such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Still, Santorum has a built-in following among social conservatives thanks in part to his staunch opposition to abortion rights, support that could pay dividends in a Republican primary. During the most recent fundraising quarter, he also collected more money for his political action committee than Mike Huckabee, the winner of the 2008 Iowa caucuses and another potential 2012 candidate.

Santorum received a warm welcome from conservative audiences in Iowa in recent months, stories he relayed to his former aides during last Tuesday's gathering.

John Brabender, an adviser to Santorum, confirmed that the meeting took place. "He told them he is actively considering [a presidential bid] by traveling to early primary states and talking with conservative leaders," Brabender told CNN.


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. sarahpalinisatwit

    Google ' Santorum '. LOL

    July 27, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz,VA

    Give it up Santorum. There's no way in hell you'll become POTUS.

    July 27, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. roro

    God help us if this man is ever again elected to public office!!

    July 27, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Ben Ben

    Dont care who the repubs run. I'm voting for Obama in 2012!!!

    July 27, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Colorado Liberal

    Rick, Rick.... reality check!

    You aren't presidential calibre and never will be. Like many (perhaps most) American politicians, you are completely unfit for public office.

    July 27, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Michael in Houston

    In the name of sweet eileen on a cracker dude...let it go for crying out loud. You were a pathetic senator, got voted out and the state and country has moved on. Give it up already.
    Dont confuse speaking to a few anti abortion groups and their applause when you say something they agree with any sort of mandate the country wants you to run for Presidency.
    Seriously, some of you "also rans" need to find jobs, realize your 15 minutes of fame faded years ago, and quit listening to a few of your "aides" who are paid to tell you what you want to hear not what the reality is.

    July 27, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. gt

    obama should not complain about fox news when he does something as stupid as going on this silly show.... how low is the bar going to be.... jersey shore... pathedic...

    July 27, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Mesa Mick

    Gettin' elected POTUS? Are you delusional Ricky-baby? Did you take your meds today?

    Ricky-baby you remind me of the male flea floating down the river on his back all sexually aroused screamin' "Raise the drawbridge!"

    July 27, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. larry buchas

    Yes, please put your hat in the ring.

    we can always use a few laughs.

    July 27, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Squiggs

    Is this guy serious. This guy must have an ego the size of Texas and a mermory the size of Delaware. Didn't he and his I hate Americans approach to governing get bounced handily just a couple of years ago. I guess he needs another political job because he can't afford that private healthcare he didn't care that others couldn't afford while enjoying his government senate plan.

    July 27, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. La Piovra

    If memory serves me, this is the guy who said white upper-class mommies should stay at home and make sure their children stay in school and get the kind of education that will fit them for their station in life, but poor and minority mommies should go right to (hard, low-paying) work, because education would make their children too uppity for their station in life. As things trend now, I suppose that makes him Right for the GOP candidacy.

    July 27, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Rob Johnson

    I eagerly await a Republican primary battle in 2012 between the likes of Santorum, Palin, Romney and Huckabee.

    Once the American people get a good look at Obama's opponent, suddenly they will remember why they voted for him in the first place.

    Not because he's perfect, or has magic powers to solve all of our problems as a nation.

    Because despite his faults and shortcomings, he's a heck of a lot better than any of the alternatives.

    July 27, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    We here in Pennsylvania booted him out resoundingly after one term. Now this clown wantsa run for president? He's to the right of right!

    July 27, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Donkey Party

    Not a chance in hell, I'll die first.

    July 27, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. GL

    It is going to be so fun watching all the GOP that are running in 2012 eat their own. Let the show begin. People in Pennsylvania hate him so he do not have a chance I don't care how he meets with.

    July 27, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. harold

    I do nto see how some Republicans can argue that they are for small government when they turn right around and argue for sticking governments nose into to peoples private lves........Where is the small government.?.. And just how do you get really small government when you are fighting two Wars and bringing the country out of the Great Recession and help people recover?..Small how? Where? When everyone is begging to be bailed out or given some tax loop hole or tax reduction.... so we cannot pay for the Wars or anything....Republicans?

    July 27, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. BillE

    What a loser. PA tossed this jerk, what makes him think anyone would vote for him if he ran for president.

    July 27, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. Would Tim Mcveigh be a Tea Party hero today?

    Rick should run away and join the circus and be a carnival barker like Rush Limbaugh.

    July 27, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Dave

    Gee, Rick, no one in PA wanted you. What makes you think that anyone in the rest of America (outside of the extreme religious right wing, conservative republican part of it) would want you to be president? You had exactly zero independent votes in the election you lost in PA so what makes you think you will get any in the rest of America when your extreme right wing nut views come to light. Heck, some of your views make Glenn Beck sound normal.

    July 27, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. NVa Native

    This guy would be great!

    Satan-moron/Palin 2012
    "two complete idiots are better than one half a governor".
    No one would have any idea of what their policies are or would be, or what they werre actually saying when they spoke, except for their endless focus on intolerant & un-American "us verses them" propoganda.

    July 27, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Steve, New York City

    Santorum, Pawlenty, Palin, Pelosi, Frank, most of the Tea Party, etc. – these entities all seem to be TOO STUPID to understand that mainstream America does NOT like extremists (Muslim, Judeo-Christian, right-wing, left-wing, etc.).

    They haven't figured out that folks like Bush # 41, Clinton (and even to some degree) Ronald Reagan, learned to (somewhat) govern from the center.

    Versus these other modern presidents, Obama inherited a HELL-STORM (but he too would be wise to heed this lesson).

    July 27, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. T

    Is this guy serious!?!?!

    July 27, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. JIlli

    Is this a joke?

    Santorums way way way past his freshness date. His neanderthalic views border on the ridiculous.

    Santorum, bwwaaahhhhh! Just another display of the absolute desperation of the repubican party. Rehash another old failed has been.

    July 27, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. kd

    this is hysterical! The guy believes his own talk-radio-style bloviations.

    July 27, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    Why does ANYONE think the failures and quitters should be president - just because they are republicans with big corporate $$ backing them???

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha a ha

    Corporations cannot buy the voters and it's the votes that count.

    July 27, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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