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. keeth in california

    Too far to the right. Ain't gunna happen, buddy.

    July 27, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. John

    So if Santorum and Palin run, it will be a contest between a loser and a quitter.

    July 27, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Jim S

    If the rich and well connected ever needed a hero they have one in Santorum
    heres a man that never met a millionair he didnt like and want to help and never met a middle class american that deserved help
    a man that will do all he can to stop entitlement programs like Social Security VA benefits and Medicare

    July 27, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. Dan

    I can't think of a person who would be a worse president that this narrow-minded bigot.

    July 27, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. Eric in Manhattan

    This man was soundly defeated in his Pennsylvania re-election bid. His views on women's rights, gay rights and almost every other conservative social issue are so far over the top, even other conservatives avoided voting for him. Now he wants to run for president? He is entitled to believe what he wishes, but he has NO right to tell others how to live, and he certainly should never be a serious contender for elective office ever again.

    July 27, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Linda

    Pawlenty? Please CNN

    He cannot run the affairs of the state of Minnesota – 5 million
    residents – and you think he has a chance at 1600 Pa Ave?

    Pawlenty is a light-weight nut job!

    July 27, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. Shucks

    Slick Rick as he is known here in Pennsylvania will do anything to further his right wing religious homophobic agenda anywhere idiots will listen to him, and in this political light, he will find alot of idiots.

    July 27, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    The Republican answer to "save" America from eternal damnation.

    July 27, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. Bob

    Rick, we here in PA figured out very early that you were WAY over your head in the Senate. What will make anyone here or anywhere in the other 49 states think that you are ready for the Big Chair? Go back to your silly newspaper part time columnist " job".

    July 27, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. rdepontb

    Rick,
    You don't have the face (much too tense looking, like you're not telling the whole truth), mannerisms (I'm sure you've watched yourself, with pity, watching your performance tics), or principles (your tax message is so weirdly out of sorts).

    Don't waste your time. Become a behind-the-scenes guy, make a better and more relaxed living for and with your family.

    July 27, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. Jamie from PA

    Take it from someone who suffered under the reign of Sen. Santorum: This man is a charismatic but meglomanical extremist. He not only imposed his narrow ultra-conservative view on others, but cheated the state of Pennsylvania out of thousands to pay for his children to go to a private cyberschool out of what he himself called his "primary" residence in Maryland (he was forced to return the money). Santorum makes NJ Gov. Chris Christie look like a flaming liberal. America does not need someone with his world view at the helm.

    July 27, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. independent

    Rick must be angling for the VP slot. He knows he's never get the top spot.

    July 27, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. Doraine Gordon

    This guy couldn't even get re-elected as a Senator. What makes him think he could ever be President? He's a cheat. Wasn't he the one who lied about where he lived so he could get vouchers for his kids schooling? I don't think we need anothr liar in Washington.

    July 27, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  14. Hap

    I'm from Pa and as a supporter of this administration I can only hope this kook is the republican nominee, unfortunatly his wheels will come off long before that.

    July 27, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Johnny johnjohn

    Just google Santorum and click on the first link. that will tell you all you need to know about "man on dog" santorum.

    god help us all...

    July 27, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. MoJo

    Ricky Boy... give it up. Your 15 minutes are long gone.

    July 27, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. joel palmer

    What in the world makes this smirking asshat think he has any chance at all; we kicked his butt out of Pennsylvania because he was the worst Senator of 100 and that's saying a lot when you have Imhoef and Demint ahead of you.

    This guy is a waste of a human being

    July 27, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Another bible-thumping, neo-con, prayer meeting, no doubt...

    July 27, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. Dave

    This clown couldn't even win in PA yet he's going to try to win the country? He has zero chance. Although, I hope he runs. Obama in a landslide.

    July 27, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Ben in Texas

    I wonder if he dug up his dead baby to consult with, too. You know, the one they held on the couch for a couple of hours after it was stillborn. Sick puppy.

    July 27, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. jeff davis

    pathetic. clueless. how about appearing on "Jersey Shore" next. i voted for him before, not again.

    July 27, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. blue

    Who in the hell would vote for this moron? If elected women would have no rights. He is from the dark, dark ages. When you think of Rick as president it is a scary thing.

    July 27, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. beth

    ...the sleezes get to work....so what will he start out with...stories about his dead baby (pathetic!) or the pony rides

    July 27, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. larry

    Ricky Sanitarium doesn't stand a chance. However, he would be a good candidate to represent "The White Annoying Teabagger" party.

    July 27, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. Minnesotan

    Every time I hear about Santorum, all I can think of is Dan Savage's description of him as "... a frothy mix...." LOL! For those of you who don't know the description, GOOGLE it. LOL!

    July 27, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
1 2 3