Santorum announces Iowa hires
January 28th, 2011
09:07 AM ET
3 years ago

Santorum announces Iowa hires

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

The former senator from Pennsylvania announced Friday that two experienced Republican strategists in Iowa, a state that plays a crucial role in the race for the White House, will serve as advisers to his political action committee, America's Foundation.

The two people are Nick Ryan and Jill Latham of the Des Moines based Concordia Group, L.L.C.

"I am extremely pleased to have Nick and Jill on board to assist with my PAC's efforts in Iowa and across the country. They have a proven track record of building grassroots support for candidates and conservative causes," says Santorum, in a news release. "As I continue to consider a run in 2012, they will play a critical role in helping determine if we are able to build the necessary support to embark on a possible run."

Ryan served from 1999 to 2006 as a top political advisor for Rep. Jim Nussle and ran three successful congressional campaigns in Eastern Iowa. He is also the founder of the American Future Fund, an advocacy group formed to advance conservative and free market ideals.

Latham served as Iowa Political Director for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign. Among other things, she also worked on President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign and served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin from 2005 to 2006.

Iowa, of course, plays an important role in choosing the next Republican White House nominee, as its caucuses kick off the presidential primary season. Santorum has visited Iowa nine times over the past 15 months.

The Iowa announcement follows moves earlier this month to bring into his PAC two experienced Republican operatives in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary of the presidential calendar.

CNN's learned that Santorum heads back to New Hampshire on Tuesday, followed by a visit to South Carolina on Wednesday. The Palmetto state holds the first southern primary in the race for the White House.

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 country in the months leading up to November's midterm elections, lending a helping hand to fellow Republicans running for office.

If Santorum formally jumps into the race for the White House, 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 nationally 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.


Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Seattle Sue

    Shut the hen house, the weasel is out again. What an ego this man has, the voters handed him his walking papers a few years ago but I guess he thinks they still love him.

    January 28, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  2. markfromdover

    Chance of Santorum to be elected pres... 0.0

    January 28, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. sara

    Does these people really think that America is buying into their Hate? Maybe a 'small' number of them.

    January 28, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  4. Bill

    Maybe he can get Pat Robertson to be his running mate. They are certainly cut from the same cloth and are both buffoons.

    January 28, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - John "The Weeper of the House" Boehner

    I don't think Santorum can even win in Pennsylvania. He's hopeless!

    January 28, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. NVa Native

    Santanorum trying to make a come-back.
    George Allen trying to make a come-back.
    Palin trying to make a come-back.
    Angle trying to make a come-back.
    Why do the losers (and every one of them a right-wing freak) of the GOP think now is their time?
    Maybe the GOP knows they have no chance against Obama in 2012 and they figure what the heck – at least it will keep the fringe/tea-buggers/ditto-heads happy.

    January 28, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. Adalbert

    This looser and the republicans never done anything to help the working class and they never will. They are in the pockets of the big corporations and other special interests with huge resources. Money and power is all that they are interested in. Unfortunately, the American people are too slow to learn.

    January 28, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    Good. Run with Failin Palin as VP and watch as you lose every state, even your own you hypocritical loser

    January 28, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. Mark

    I am trying to look at Sant as an Independent, WITHOUT slamming him ( can some of you folks do that?), but no matter how much of a team. no matter how early he starts, he is too far to the right to win the primary much less win over the independents he'd need to win.

    January 28, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. LovesIrony

    Only a complete idiot would think that he would make a good president. Losing a reelection campaign by 18% should send a loud and clear message. Of course such a closed minded lunatic can't comprehend. Okay fools send him money.

    January 28, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Will he finally admit that he is running for president? I don't think he will until it is absolutely necessisary. He might be a good VP, but he'll not make it as a presidential candidate.

    January 28, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. jphilly08

    This guy is a complete moron. a pathetic little leech. I watched him coming up in pennsylvania and I celebrated when we voted him out. He is a follower, a puppet and doesn't have two brain cells in that enormous head. If you thought Dubya was dumb wait until you meet this guy. he is just dumb enough for the GOP to give him the go ahead. They want presidents like him so they can pull the strings from behind the scenes. We need to start electing leaders who are not bought and paid for, who don't owe anybody anything and can think for themselves. Oh thats right, we tried that with JFK and look where that got him. good luck america

    January 28, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |