More signals Santorum is preparing for a White House run
January 5th, 2011
10:52 AM ET
3 years ago

More signals Santorum is preparing for a White House run

More signals from Rick Santorum that he's gearing up for a run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

A source close to the former senator from Pennsylvania confirms to CNN that later Wednesday Santorum will announced that he's bringing on board one of the top GOP political strategists in New Hampshire, a state that plays a crucial role in the race for the White House. Santorum will also next week make another visit to the state, which traditionally holds in nation's first primary in the presidential calendar.

The operative is Mike Biundo, who most recently steered Republican Frank Guinta's successful campaign for mayor of Manchester, the state's largest city, and this past autumn's winning campaign for Congress. Word of Biundo's hiring and the trip to the Granite State was first reported earlier Wednesday by John Distaso, senior political reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

The source confirms to CNN that Biundo will serve as the state director for "America's Foundation," Santorum's political action committee. The former senator is expected to say that he's "thrilled to have Mike a part of our team. His experience and knowledge will be invaluable in New Hampshire."

Santorum's expected to appear at an event next Tuesday for conservative activist and 2010 GOP senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne's new political action committee, followed by two stops later that day and the following day.

Santorum's made trips to New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina following the midterm elections. Iowa and South Carolina also play prominent roles in the road to the White House: Iowa's caucuses kick off the presidential primary and caucus season and South Carolina holds the first southern primary.

The former two-term senator lost his 2006 re-election bid by 18 points to Democrat Bob Casey Jr. and was largely out of public view for a couple of years, except for appearances on Fox News. But Santorum made numerous visits across the campaign trail in the months leading up to November's elections, lending a helping hand to fellow Republicans running for office.

If Santorum formally jumps into the race, he could face a potentially crowded field of candidates, including a string of better funded opponents with larger national political operations.

Recent polls indicate that Santorum registers in the low single digits among Republican voters when it comes to the choice for their party's next presidential nominee. 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.

CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum • South Carolina
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He's running, and he's not going to win the nomination. He was nailed in his reelection bid because he didn't spend much time in PA nor did his family. His kids were going to school outside of the commonwealth!

    January 5, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Michael Shea

    I don't like Rick Santorum because he has always been a one issue elected official. Santorum's issue was pro-life on abortion. I am pro-life but from conception to grave. I always found Santorum to be arrogant and combative like most Republicans. Ialso get tired of their phony patriotism and christianity. I am pro-Obama all the way. There is no republican that comes close to Obama's intelligence and leadership style. Obama has done a terrific job. The only potential Republican candidate I have any use for is Ron Paul. I agree with him on foreign affairs and his opposition to our awful trade agreements like NAFTA,CAFTA and WTO.

    January 5, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    Bachmann – Palin – Gingrinch – Barbour – Christie – Huck-A-Bye – Mitt – Now, this guy, Santorum!!! WHO let the DOGS out??? LMAO!!!

    Please let us continue to support our current leader, President Obama – who will surely win again in 2012 (if he chooses to run), which he MOVES AMERICA FORWARD in the right direction!!! Yes We Can!

    January 5, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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