August 21st, 2010
10:31 AM ET
4 years ago

2012 Watch: Santorum in New Hampshire following Iowa visit

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - Just days after wrapping up a three-day swing through Iowa, former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is in the state that holds the nation's first presidential primary.

The possible GOP presidential candidate will attend a fundraising event Saturday for a New Hampshire Republican state senate candidate and will serve as the keynote speaker at the Manchester Republicans Candidate Fair, according to a spokeswoman for Santorum's political action committee. This is the conservative former senator's second trip to the Granite State this year.

During his three days in Iowa, which was Santorum's third trip to the state this cycle, the Pennsylvania Republican campaigned for state GOP candidates, held receptions to meet with Iowa voters, and stopped by the Iowa State Fair, a must do event for any White House hopeful. The Iowa caucuses kick off the presidential primary season.

"I sort of feel in some respects I'm being pulled along in this," Santorum told the Des Moines Register on Wednesday. "I'm still seriously going through this process. And at this point I'm very encouraged by everything that's happening."

Santorum added that "there seems to be support on the ground at least to consider this. The response has been surprisingly positive."

Last month Santorum met privately 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 in Washington, Santorum conveyed his seriousness about a possible campaign and solicited his former aides for advice.

The former two-term senator lost his 2006 re-election bid by 18 points. If he decides to make a bid for the presidency, he could face a potentially crowded field of candidates, including some better funded opponents with larger national political operations.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll released last week indicated that Santorum was the pick of two percent of Republican voters when it comes to their choice for their party's next presidential nominee. Santorum was last among a list of potential GOP White House hopefuls listed in the survey.

But due in part to his strong opposition to abortion rights, Santorum is popular with many socially conservative voters, who have an influential role in the GOP primary process.

–CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • New Hampshire • Rick Santorum
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Chris in CA

    Separation of church and state. Five simple words the Republican party just can't seem to include in their vocabulary. It never ceases to amaze me that the right wing conservative party is hell bent on controlling the lives of the American people in ways that really have no effect on the way they live THEIR own lives. Who cares if gay people marry, etc? Santorum is the poster child for these prehistoric mind sets.

    August 21, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. junglejim123

    Santorum is a political has been. Pennsylvania got sick of him and so did the nation. Just because he sees Obama floundering he thinks he can make a run for it..Your time is past....and so has Newtie and all these others.

    Obama will lose but it will be to someone newer with better ideas....The Republicans of old have to shed those who did nothing to help them and they need new blood. Hillary can win, if she jumps from this ship of fools called the Obama Administration.

    August 21, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. S

    Santorum kept a photo of a miscariage on his desk. He also sat in the senate aisle with a protest sign. He is weird, but not much worse than other conrervative gops.

    August 21, 2010 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
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