Santorum announces presidential exploratory committee
April 13th, 2011
10:25 PM ET
4 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. Joe citizen abroad

    Great. Another clown throws his sound bites into the ring.

    April 13, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  2. One of the Worst ever in Washington!!!

    Rick Santorum on the issues:

    Voted NO on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contracept¬ives. (Mar 2005)
    Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientatio¬n. (Jun 2000)
    Voted NO on prohibitin¬g job discrimina¬tion by sexual orientatio¬n. (Sep 1996)
    Voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005)
    Voted YES on restrictin¬g class-acti¬on lawsuits. (Dec 1995)
    Voted NO on establishi¬ng the Senate Office of Public Integrity. (Mar 2006

    Keep this Religious Phony and Modern Day Carpet Bagger out of office for good – Bye Bye “Rip-Off” Rick “Sanitarium” Santorum!!

    April 13, 2011 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  3. dwech

    One of the WORST possible presidential candidates, in a group that includes the two griz-mamas Sarah and Michelle. In fact, they are all so unqualified and wacky, it's kind of hard to rank the worst of the worst, but Santorum is dangerously stupid. The guy who thinks having more kids will solve the Social Security system (currently reeling under the weight of baby-boom seniors).

    April 13, 2011 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  4. jules

    Good Lord-the poor Republicans just keep grasping at straws and scraping the bottom of the fish tank. Santorum is only slightly better than Trump-and that man's a disaster! OMG! Might as well say "hey! Are you Republican? Got a pulse? Run for Prez!"

    April 13, 2011 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  5. America

    screw all these people..im voting for obama again.

    April 13, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  6. thes33k3r

    Good. One more ultra-conservative religious nut entering the fray. He would have just about as much chance at getting elected as Palin...which is very close to zero. Romney will be the Republican candidate....but it would be fun to watch Santorum get clobbered if the RNC were deluded enough to nominate him as their candidate.

    April 14, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  7. once upon a horse

    they just showed a chart where "pretty Ricky" was at 7% 5points behind Sarah Palin for the so-called 2012ers and that was with Republicans. My adice is for him to save his money for something more useful.

    April 14, 2011 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  8. Mike

    This guy makes Sarah Palin look like a rocket scientist

    April 14, 2011 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  9. Mike

    Great. Another anti abortion fundamentalist. ;)

    April 14, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  10. Christopher

    Didn't Santorum have a really embarrassing crying jag when Pennsylvania voters showed him what they thought of him? He's as clueless as Dan Quayle was about how much people think he's a giant joke.

    April 14, 2011 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  11. Whatever you want

    Rick Sanitorium ... Setting the social clock back to the 1890's. Best wishes in your upcoming beat-down.

    April 14, 2011 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  12. KO

    The guy loses his Senate seat by over 15 percentage points in 2008 and now he thinks he can be elected President–dream on, Rick.

    April 14, 2011 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  13. Bill

    You have no chance Rick, but not yourself out. The voters of Pennsylvania voted you out of office due to your ultra-right-wing views; why do you think the voters of America will be different?

    April 14, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  14. Sir Craig

    The humor levels are about to zoom off the charts with this bunch of GOP hopefuls...

    April 14, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  15. pritiblond

    I kinda like this guy. His strong moral stand regarding abortion and gays is refreshing.

    April 14, 2011 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  16. SightSeer

    Ain't you the genius that said recently something about our having lower tax revenue due to all the aborted babies who would've been taxpayers – or something like that? Another deep-thinking god-fearing Republican – be very afraid.

    April 14, 2011 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  17. Aaron

    Isn't this about the 10th time that he's announced some kind of presidential exploratory committee?

    April 14, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  18. Dwayne

    What great news, we need a great man that believes in what this country was founded on!

    April 14, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  19. Name

    This guy is a nut job if he ever became president i'd leave

    April 14, 2011 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  20. Rick

    I swear, if I hear him mention one more time how much money we could save if we quit funding abortions, I think I'll throw up in my mouth!

    April 14, 2011 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  21. justathought

    Why is this lunatic even wasting his and our time with this ridiculous bid for the presidency?

    April 14, 2011 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  22. DemDreamTicket

    Trump-Santorum in '12!!!!!! GOP should run that all the way. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 14, 2011 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  23. SSampson

    Santorum should be in one.... A sanitorium I mean.... I guess he edited out the 'i's'

    April 14, 2011 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  24. peter s

    Welcome to the ring of fire and may the best man win!

    April 14, 2011 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  25. scott

    hey rick, stop the insanity, please.....we didnt want you here in pa, because you were a right wing nut job. what makes you think you will even survive past the iowa caucauses....there are more democrats in this country than republicans and there is no way in hell the independants will rally to you...so please stop the insanity and take sarah with you into the sunset. your 15min of fame is over!!!!

    April 14, 2011 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
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