Another serious New Hampshire hire for Santorum
January 19th, 2011
02:49 PM ET
4 years ago

Another serious New Hampshire hire for Santorum

Washington (CNN) - More signals from Rick Santorum that he's getting ready to officially run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Wednesday the former senator from Pennsylvania said that a longtime GOP activist will serve as chairwoman of his political action committee, America's Foundation, in New Hampshire, a state that plays a crucial role in the race for the White House.

The activist is Claira Monier, a veteran of both state and local politics, who was a former aide to Republican Gov. Meldrim Thompson and the widow of state Senate president Bob Monier.

"I am honored to have Claira as a part of our team in New Hampshire. Her roots in the Granite State run deep, and there is no doubt her connection to many grassroots activists and party leaders will be a great asset as I continue to consider a run for president," said Senator Santorum, in an email release.

"I believe Rick Santorum's conservative message is resonating well in New Hampshire. He has demonstrated a deep understanding of the many challenges our country faces – both domestically and internationally – and I believe he has the right message for our state and our country at this critical time," said Monier.

Monier supported former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the 2008 election cycle. Romney is also seriously considering another run for the party's presidential nomination.

Earlier this month Santorum brought on Mike Biundo, a top political operative in the state, to serve as New Hampshire director for the PAC.

Last week Santorum stopped by the Manchester, New Hampshire home of Ovide LaMontagne, the Sen. Jim DeMint-backed conservative attorney who lost last year's Republican Senate nomination to Kelly Ayotte by just 1,500 votes. LaMontagne, a conservative activist, has started up a new political action committee and his home could become the site of frequent visits by GOP presidential hopefuls.

Santorum also made other stops last week in New Hampshire, which traditionally holds in nation's first primary in the presidential calendar.

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 • New Hampshire • Rick Santorum
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. CP.

    Is it just me or does Rick Santorum look like an android?

    January 19, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Nice picture. It explains alot. Knowing the average capacity of his and the GOP's base, his advisors have obviously chosen to keep his forehead nice and shiny to distract them while he attempts to fill their heads with mindless talking points and ideological platitudes.

    January 19, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. carrie

    He sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry ....so is this all they got?
    At least Palin gives us some entertainment!
    Seriously , the GOP need some intelliigent and charismatic people that are actually capable of running and being elected. We do not need another W for sure and what the GOP has right now cannot hold a candle to Obama.

    January 19, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. D. Bunker

    Howdy-Doody has no chance, especially with his google problem. But I love the idea of him sucking up and wasting more faceless billionaire donations with his fruitless campaign of narcissism.

    January 19, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Please stop showing this picture of Sanatorium The Embalmed One!!! It is scaring children, and the chickens have stopped laying eggs!!!
    Creepy!

    January 19, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    And I DON'T care where he goes, nor what he says.
    This man is as irrelevant to the political spectrum as I am!

    January 19, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Steve Burns

    Just this morning as I was wiping up a santorum, I wondered what ever happened to this man. Have to go....my fingers are still sticky.

    January 19, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    Hey, he has as much qualification for the job as Obama, probably more since he did finish his Senate term whiuch Obama did not. Let's see what he has to say and listen to his proposed solutions. He's a long shot out of the gates but once and a while they do come in and win the race.

    But I'm sure the looney left and the media will relentlessly attack him like they do with Palin. They only way they can make their candidates look better is to drive down everybody else. Pretty sad.

    January 19, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. elidude

    Oh, my f*ing G-d. This guy is SO f*ing clueless! His IQ is about 12! He is a joke in PA, so of course, he looks for a bigger stage. He is a dumb Geo. Bush!!!!!!!!

    January 19, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Enuf!

    seriously, i could care less WHO the republican candidate is! they will never get my vote! this notion they have that no country should be ran by a government or have one for that matter is ridiculous! and just everything about the republican party is just plain stupid!

    January 19, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. reality check

    Looking forward to a potential Santorum/Bolton ticket. Might be the first campaign to actually poll in the negative digits.

    January 19, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Enuf!

    i mean look at him, republicans just look fishy and evil! aside from his crooked eyes

    January 19, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Oh wait, I'm sorry...was I supposed to take this clown seriously enough to provide a serious comment? BWAHAHAHA...yeah, that's gonna happen with Rick "Urban Dictionary" Santorum.

    January 19, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Let's see what he has to say and listen to his proposed solutions."

    Pretending he hasn't already broadcast them over his career, during his tenure as a Senator and while on his current magalomanical romp through delusion-of-grandeur land...even telegraphing them via which special interest groups he chooses to meet with...well, that doesn't make for a good basis for claiming that the "looney left" is making all kinds of crazy assumptions to claim that the guy is a right wing conservative extremist fruitcake. We're all over here in reality checking out the facts...care to join us?

    January 19, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Tulsa

    Protect and Defend.... What a Moron.

    January 19, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Redleg

    How many stillbirths has he made his wife nurse? He believes that death is no reason not to be the kid's playmate.

    January 19, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Amunaka

    Okay ..now that's scary

    January 19, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |