October 7th, 2010
09:57 AM ET
4 years ago

2012 Watch: Santorum opens up surprise PAC in Iowa

(CNN) - Former Sen. Rick Santorum has announced he is forming a political action committee in the key early-voting state of Iowa, the latest sign the Pennsylvania Republican is getting serious about a White House bid in 2012.

"My federal PAC, America's Foundation, has already assisted some candidates in the Hawkeye State, but I am eager to do more and the Iowa Keystone PAC will help us do that," Santorum said in a statement. "There are many strong conservatives running in Iowa and assisting them with financial support may help put them in the victory column come Election Day."

Santorum says he intends to donate at least $25,000 to Hawkeye State candidates ahead of the November elections in what is likely an effort to establish a base of support in the critical caucus state before he formally decides on launching a presidential bid.

The announcement of the new PAC come comes a week ahead of Santorum's latest planned foray to Iowa, when he will make visits in Cedar Rapids and Coralville on October 13 and Davenport and Dubuque on October 14.

Santorum, who lost his reelection bid to the U.S. Senate in 2006, has visited Iowa five times in the last year, stoking speculation a bid for the White House is nearly a given. Late last Summer, 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.

But Santorum's case for the presidency is far from clear. The former two-term senator lost his 2006 re-election bid by 18 point and has been largely out of public view since then except for appearances on Fox News. Moreover, if he decides to make a bid for the presidency, he could face a potentially crowded field of candidates, including a string of better funded opponents with larger national political operations.

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

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


Filed under: 2012 • Pennsylvania • Rick Santorum
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. rdepontb

    Get that smug photo off of your blog, and you won't be so likely to remind voters of the twit you were.

    October 7, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  2. Modern Family

    By all means let the lunatic fringe demonstrate what the GOP truly stands for. The demise of the white-heterosexual-christian-only party is accelerating and people like Rick Santorum assure that it will occur sooner rather than later.

    October 7, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  3. Jill American

    Pennsylvania was smart enough to realize they didn't want him representing them, and got rid of him. What makes him think the country would?

    October 7, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  4. NVa Native

    Santanorum/Phailin 2012
    Phailin/Santanorum 2012
    That would be great – dumb and dumber with puritain pitch-forks. Hah!
    The Party of the mentally crippled is really scraping the bottom of the spitoon with this psycho.

    October 7, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. La Piovra

    This is the guy who thinks too much education will ruin the underclasses. From his point of view, he's right. As it is, too many people know better than to vote for him.

    October 7, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  6. Clwyd

    What a waste of his time and money!

    October 7, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  7. Marie MD

    Go ahead and waste your money. If newt can try to make a comeback after his dismissal and lies, why not this guy who looks like a hand puppet.
    BTW – good luck with the rest of the right wing pack. Now that the husband of the half term governor is mad at miller for not endorsing his wife's "possible" presidential run in 2012 he might run as a membger of the secessionist AK independent party.

    October 7, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  8. Seattle Sue

    I don't know who is the most weasel like, Rick Santorum or Dino Rossi of Washington State. I don't trust either one of them!

    October 7, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  9. Tim

    The support he gets from a few socially conservative voters isn't going to amount to much. He's just another religious extremist and he's really kind of goofy.

    October 7, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. LOVESIRONY

    The people of your own state do not want you as their senator. Yet you think the country wants you as its president?
    KNOCK KNOCK PUDDINGHEAD...you are a FAILED politician. Go home... you know that place that doesn't want you!

    October 7, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. Bill

    This buffoon will never be president. Save your time and money Ricky.

    October 7, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. diridi

    Iowa, if you have any brain, go and vote for any Democrat. Don't be indoctrinated by Old people and their say. They are so selfish, on medicare, social security money, etc., they do not care about central bank system, nor dollar dropping down like a crazy dog. GOP messed and will mess. GOP are full of thugs....so go and vote any democrat. Obama is doing excellent. It is the result of Idiots like Ronald Reagan, and G. Bush-2 that reverberated this mess....good luck...vote for any democrat....God bless the nation, the USA!!!!!

    October 7, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  13. Daniel Schlafer

    I remember when Rick Satorum was a US Senator from Pennsylvannia . after the 2001 Iraq Invasion /War/Occupation and continued to insist that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction [ our stated reason for the war when the truth was oil ] . Santorum was wrong about WMD's but continued to go on every broadcast media that would allow him to advocate that WMD'S had been found up until his re-election defeat in 2006 . Pennsylvanniaians saw through Santorum's poor judgment then and it will not take long for Iowaians to follow suit .

    October 7, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. Lucas Breen

    His home state rejected him as a US Senator. Maybe the people of Iowa will be more easily fooled by this character.

    October 7, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Eric

    This man is truly a study in self-deception. How could anyone even seriously consider Santorum for any elected position? He was soundly defeated as senator, and is so far to the right that even conservatives are left shaking their heads.

    October 7, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  16. ddr

    Exactly who is going to vote for this crazy extemist? More importantly, why???

    October 7, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. rick

    He's delerious.

    October 7, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. marty

    Rick Santorum was soundly rejected in his home (?) state of PA. Just as some persons are suspected of 'using' the welfare system, Santorum is suspected of 'using' his so-called Pennsylvania residency to his personal advantage. One example is having the State pay for his children's charter school education although they reside in another state. This is a former senator who complains about government even though it's been written that he grew up in a family whose father was on the government payroll and had lived in government housing. It's not inconceivable that he may even find a way for the government to pay for his children's college education.

    Perhaps it's time for citizen's to do a genuine and legitimate background check on anyone seeking political office, the same kind of checking that business demands from the ordinary citizen applying for a job. Rick Santorum took a sound beating in 2006 for many good reasons.

    October 7, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. Matt

    Santorum... that's funnny... here's why:
    http://www.SpreadingSantorum.com

    October 7, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. Switters

    I am from Pennsylcania – Rick Santorum is very scary.
    .
    He is a Theocrat through and through – he would want Christianity to be the 'national religion'
    .
    Should the USA foster a 'Christian Taliban? – elect Rick Santorum and that's what you'd get.....

    October 7, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. MikeH

    Manondog Santorum is a delusional train wreck, folks.

    Move along, nothing to see here.

    October 7, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. Bill Cosby

    Rick santorum is a tool who will never be in a public office in a district with intelligent people.

    October 7, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. Jeff

    MArk my words he has no chance in hell of winning the Republican Nom.

    October 7, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. Independent In Albany

    Rick Santorum? Haaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaa OMG, please stop....ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 7, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. Mike

    This guy did not get reelected for a reason. How does he think is is going to be a player for President? He is a mean and angry politician. Just what we need....another shining star.

    October 7, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |