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. Republics whine about "class warfare" . . .

    what do you think getting rid of medicare and giving tax cuts to the rich is?

    April 13, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  2. Texas Doc

    Another TeaOP contender. President Obama is going to mop the floor with these clowns. The GOTea crowd showed how serious they are about politics by letting Sarah Palin out of Alaska. They simply do not take running this country seriously...either that or they hate America.

    April 13, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  3. Steve

    Just what was missing from the field. A crazy, right wing nut job.

    April 13, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  4. ted

    Too bad, Rick! I hear there aren't enough bedrooms in the White House.

    April 13, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  5. toshmaster1

    The republican candidates are like a circus. Unfortunately, the dems aren't much better

    April 13, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  6. Chuck

    Um Rick....You were unelected in Pennsylvania, because you are the Michael Scott of Politics. Yes you are worst than Dan Quayle. Anyone who blames lack of funding for social security on abortions is a moron.

    April 13, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  7. midwestmatt

    Explore it all you want, Mr. Santorum, but there's no escaping the fact that you have extreme right wing views and are so far away from the mainstream that you're NEVER, and I mean NEVER, going to get the nomination, let alone win the office of the POTUS.

    Take you and your weird little ego and GO AWAY.

    April 13, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  8. egore

    This joker could not even win a State wide election to retain his Senate seat in PA. The anti-prochoice crowd may clamour for him but in reality he will be a single digit side show in the contest that's beginning.

    April 13, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  9. Paul 1st

    Santorum has all of his talking points down pat. Unfortunately, his record tells a vastly different story.

    April 13, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  10. tonyS

    As a Pennsylvania resident, I urge anyone thinking of voting for him, to NOT vote for him or anyone else from PA. They're all miserable and not trustworthy. Like all other politicians, they're bought and paid for by big business, and only in politics for themselves. They do not care about anyone/anything other than themselves – forget about "public service".

    April 13, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  11. Sick of it

    Why do Republicans bash Obama when the problems which we are fighting over today were created by his predecessor George W. Bush. They figure it will get them support from the rich for funding their campaign.

    April 13, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  12. Sigmund

    Santorum should end up in a sanatorium if he is delusional enough to believe he can get elected to the White House.

    April 13, 2011 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  13. edlinn

    Yawn. And what does Google show for his name?

    April 13, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  14. david

    if this guy is wanting to run for president and he truly believes he can do a good job for the ppl of America with his down home ethics, then yeah i would vote for him. surely he cant do worse than the one we have now. ( just a thought )

    April 13, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  15. maryteresa

    As a former Pennsylvanian i can tell you–this guy is a complete right-wingnut moron. Hope he gets the GOP nomination. No competition for the Dems.

    April 13, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  16. greyhackles

    How does this guy get past the fact that his own state kicked him out of office?
    Oh – wait. Single digit polling? He hasn't gotten past it. Yet he's running anyway?

    Here's a story for you, CNN: "Just how lucrative is it to run a fake campaign?"

    April 13, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    And this is a surprise for what reason? I don't think he would win the nomination. He couldn't figure out where he was living when he last ran for reelection. What makes people think he has it figured any better.

    April 13, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  18. Jesus

    Just go away please

    April 13, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  19. GeorgeWBushie

    Santorum? REALLY???? This clown/empty suit has the audacity to attempt to throw his hat into the ring too? Good grief. We've got Trump, the galactically ignorant and grossly underqualified Palin, crazy Bachmann and now clownboy Santorum planning a "run"?? Obama is guaranteed a second term going up against this crew.

    April 13, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  20. NameRahman

    America needs a leader ,I mean a real leader, may be R ick is an answer. We shall see.

    April 13, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  21. Oh yeah

    Great. 5 people have now taken the first step. At the RNC they'll be announing, "and the exploratory Republican nominee is..."

    April 13, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  22. Will

    This is crazy. He lost by 18 points in his last Senate race in Pennsylvania. What makes him think he could be elected President?

    April 13, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  23. Buzzard t

    This is presidential material??!!!! This man is a narrow-minded individual and one of the scariest ones running. Pay attention to what he stands for and do not be taken in by his rhetoric.

    April 13, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  24. roro

    This man is particularly dangerous. Pennsylvanians got rid of him for his extremism, particularly on social issues, and now he wants to bring his craziness to the entire country. Thanks, but no thanks.

    April 13, 2011 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  25. anagram_kid

    This line of the article says it all, '...allows him to raise federal political contributions...". If anyone really believes that Santorum, Trump, Palin, Bachman, Gingrich or Pawlenty are going to run, I have a bridge for sale that they might be interested in. These folks are in it for the money and attention; that's it.

    April 13, 2011 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
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