Santorum announces presidential exploratory committee
April 13th, 2011
10:25 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum announces presidential exploratory committee

Washington (CNN) - Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania took his first official step toward running for president Wednesday, announcing the formation of a presidential exploratory committee.

"In 2008 Americans wanted a president who they could believe in, but after two years they realized that what they needed is a president who believes in them," Santorum said in a statement. "It's time for America to be America again - an America that rewards innovation and hard work, that stands by our allies instead of our enemies, that protects even the most vulnerable of our society, and an America that says every life is to be cherished. That is what I believe in, and that's why I'm taking this next step in a possible run for president."

The step, though short of filing an official committee with the Federal Election Commission, allows him to raise federal political contributions while he explores an official run for the White House in 2012.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, like Santorum, announced his intention to explore a presidential run last month without officially filing with the FEC.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer have established presidential exploratory committees with the FEC.

Santorum has made dozens trips in the last two years to the early presidential primary and caucus states and will return to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire Thursday to deliver a policy address at New England College in Henniker.

Polls over the past year 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. But, 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. This past weekend Santorum made headlines by winning a much-watched straw poll at the Greenville County, South Carolina, Republican convention.

– CNN's Paul Steinhauser, Steve Brusk, Robert Yoon and Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. C. Howe Yulikit

    Well somebody has to be last in the polls. Looks like Rick has the slot until John Bolton declares.

    April 14, 2011 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  2. NedHop

    This far right-wing fanatic could not even be reelected to the Senate. How does he figure to make a serious run at the presidency?

    April 14, 2011 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  3. Marry

    Another GOP/TP nut! What a waste of money! Lots of “bla-bla” and critic of the President but no plan to help the country! Disgusting! Who do they think they are fooling? Ah, yes! I know! 98% of the people.

    April 14, 2011 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  4. Doug

    After reading how this guy beat the system and had the state of Pennsylvania pay for his childrens school, I would never vote for this crook.. Further, this ultra conservative is a crazy hypocrite !

    April 14, 2011 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  5. walt yurek

    This cornball ultraconservative has NO CHANCE. He was kicked out the senate by the voters of PA once already. Can the Republican party produce anyone besides Mitt Romney that has a serious winning track record? Uh NO.

    April 14, 2011 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  6. Shalla

    I threw a party when Santorum lost his Senate seat. His office never bothered to answer a single one of my very polite letters on issues. Apparently they only bother to send responses to people they deem socially conservative enough. I figured if he wasn't going to bother representing me or even responding to my concerns, I'd vote for a monkey if it ran against him. I think the rest of PA felt the same way. And now he wants to run for President? Greeeeeeat. Because I really want the guy who insists US citizens have no right to privacy to head the electoral branch. Fourth Amendment? What Fourth Amendment? :P

    April 14, 2011 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  7. Frank

    One of the joys of disposable income is the ability to waste it. Why donate to useful charities or beneficial research when you can dump it on a social luddite like Santorum?
    Savage was right!

    April 14, 2011 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  8. Name

    New face, same old comic book fantasies retold.

    April 14, 2011 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Is he going to make sure that all those seven kids of his follow him around without going to school also?
    He is definitely not part of that 1/3 third of American children that are not born because of abortions. Which, BTW, instead of kyl's self confesed lies abotu planned parenthood is NOT 90% but a mere 3%.
    The party of hell no continues to talk without having figures and facts, just open mouth insert foot and the right wing nutsos will believe because it's all about "family values and god's truth"!

    April 14, 2011 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  10. Sally Li

    Santorum – the toast of Pennsylvania!

    April 14, 2011 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  11. BD70

    How about we start cherishing the lives that are already here. Running on a platform of right to life will not fix the deficit or the economy.

    April 14, 2011 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  12. Tom

    I would not vote for him even if he was the only one running. PA voted him out a few years back... and with good reason.

    April 14, 2011 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  13. T'sah from Virginia

    And the MORAL of this story IIIISSSSSSSSS???? He's been exploring the notion of running for the past two years... Jeez! These guys (gals) on the RIGHT who feel they are fooling the American people into believing that they MIGHT run for president are delusional!!! Come on NOW – it's obvious!! And Santorum is NOT even on the poll chart and still insist he can be president.... Go get a REAL JOB and stop traveling the country on PAC money!!!

    And, Joe on Morning Joe this morning, was "crying" because little poo poo Ryan was invited to President Obama's budget speech yesterday and got insulted. INSULTED???? "Jeez Louise" – pretty blue eye boy Ryan got insulted??? As much as RYAN and his "gang of budget professionals" were ragging the President – demanding it was "THEIR WAY or NO WAY – should be able to "take it!!" I guess their "in the face" 'rude is NOT what it's cut out to be!!!

    Anyway -off to work, HAVE A NICE DAY!!!!

    April 14, 2011 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  14. PAT

    This man has so much hate filled rhetoric in his past that I can't see anyone giving him a secon look, the voters of Pennsylvania certainly didn't give him another Senate term.

    April 14, 2011 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  15. Anonymous

    I think he or Huckabee would make a great president. They both have common sense and morals.

    April 14, 2011 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  16. Jeff

    He could not even be elected to a second term as a Senator from PA....what makes him think the entire country wants him and his far out ideas as president?

    April 14, 2011 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  17. Whammybar

    Like Bachman, Newt, Huckabee and Pawlenty, Santorum is a one issue candidate. A very bad choice for a president. Get ready to have your chip implanted and all wear the same clothes, go to the same schools and have only one religion. They want power and control and could care less about anyone but themselves.

    April 14, 2011 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  18. mb2010a

    Umm...sorry but no thanks. He's Catholic and has seven (7) kids. Not enough bedrooms in the White House. He needs to reconsider his stance against abortion.

    April 14, 2011 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  19. Dave

    The only thing this right-wing zealot will be exploring is how bad he will be beaten. He has no chance and anyone who tells him otherwise is lying or simply clueless.

    April 14, 2011 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  20. Lisa - PA

    Pennsylvania did not want him. Why would the natiion? He is a real politician who blows smoke. When we were lobbying for changes in the hate crimes laws as he constituents, we asked him his stance on hate crimes (him, not a staffer). His response was "I need to see how my constituents feel about hate crime." Really, what person from PA or not likes hate crimes?

    April 14, 2011 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  21. Haemisch

    Unless the Republicans come up with a truly viable candidate, Obama will continue to be president.

    April 14, 2011 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  22. sanscrotum juice

    He has lost his mind

    April 14, 2011 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  23. Pravaa

    " that protects even the most vulnerable of our society"

    LOL. A GOPer saying that.....LOL.. needed the early morning laughs. The sentence should have ended with " such as the uber rich and the corporations and all the big moneyed donors". Thank you for the laughs Mr Santorum. Now please go back to hallucinating.

    April 14, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  24. Jeff

    The dude has no chance to win

    April 14, 2011 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
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