Santorum forms presidential exploratory committee
May 3rd, 2011
05:49 PM ET
4 years ago

Santorum forms presidential exploratory committee

Washington (CNN) - Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum formed a presidential exploratory committee Tuesday filing papers with the Federal Election Commission.

The move toward a run for the GOP presidential nomination was also a qualifying step set by organizers for Thursday's first debate of the primary season. The event is being held in Greenville, South Carolina and is being sponsored by the state's Republican Party and Fox News.

"I am pleased that we have taken this important next step in the process to potentially become a candidate for President of the United States. The debate this Thursday is a unique opportunity to put forth ideas and solutions to bring our economy back on track, and with Osama bin Laden's death, I look forward to also discussing in depth ways to tackle our many national security challenges," Santorum said in a statement.

Santorum, who has been a fixture for the last several months in the key early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, has a long road ahead of him. In a CNN/Opinion Research Poll taken April 9-10 of Republicans' choice to be the party nominee he only garnered 2 percent of the respondents. A social conservative and strong opponent of abortion rights, Santorum hopes to find support among that constituency in such key states as Iowa and South Carolina.

Santorum served in the U.S. Senate from 1995-2007, but he lost his bid for a third term when Bob Casey defeated him.

Among the other GOP prospects who have formed exploratory committees are former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Ron Paul, businessman Herman Cain and former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer.

Launching an exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission means a candidate technically is then running for President and allows him or her to start raising money and hire staff towards that effort although these contenders are still deciding whether to launch a full campaign.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has set up a different type of committee and has said he will announce his intentions within the next few days.

Businessman Donald Trump says he will make his decision about a prospective campaign before the end of the month after his Celebrity Apprentice show's season ends on NBC, and Rep. Michele Bachmann has said she will make her intentions known in June.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson has already announced he is officially running for the nomination.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman are also mulling possible runs.


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Great! Another GOP hopeful who has ZERO chance of being elected President. (Maybe he's hoping to be appointed Vice-Pres). Let's hope that the GOP primary is a grueling one, requiring large sums of money to get the GOP nomination, while President Obama saves all his funding for the general election.

    May 3, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Len Smith

    Is this how people who don't have anything to offer and probably cannot make a living make money??

    May 3, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. NVa Native

    Nothing to explore – the real Satanorum is another religious homophob has been hidding in the well stiocked Repub closet of losers. Talk tough when there is no risk and whine about being a vicitim anytime your words are repeated back to you. Typical weak Repub.

    May 3, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. vet in texas

    proven loser who is going to hustle a bigger group of proven losers out of their hard earned socialism checks......GOP followers, your a donating person ($100) you get a flat on the side of the road and a convoy of GOP candidates pass by, ask yourself which one in that group will stop and help, which one will call for help, and which one will keep on going..........use that question and your answer when you vote. It won't be Santorum, it won't be Palin, it won't be Gingrich, it won't be Trump, it won't be Cain, it won't be Bachmann..........who will help you?

    May 3, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Nick , California

    This guy doesn't stand a chance!! He is just the appetizer to the main course.. I think Mittens and Ron Paul are the only decent candidates the Republicans have.. unless something dramatically bad happens in the next year and a half President Obama will serve a second term.

    May 3, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Another Heavyweight

    Little Ricky got a whopping 41 per cent of the vote when he was defeated in his run for reelection to the Senate in 2006.
    Is this the best ya got, Republics?

    May 3, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. andy

    Yes, just after Obama took care of Osama, Mr Scrotum heredecided to run for the president... what an idiot.

    May 3, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. C. Howe Yulikit

    Bwahahaha!! This guys i quite the comedian if he thinks he has the remotest chance of being elected President. Santorum/Bolton 2012!! Soon to be the only campaign in history to poll in negative numbers.

    May 3, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. Mikey

    Thus far the prospective GOP field can be summarized as the Nitwits, Misfits, and Dimwits. Their debates are likely to contain few pears of wisdom, but should be interesteing just for the entertainment value alone. Just like a bunch of kids, you never know what they'll say.

    May 3, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  10. Michael

    Another clown leaps onto the carousel! The more the merrier.
    Obama 2012!

    May 3, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. T'sah from Virginia

    What the heck is he EXPLORING?
    He's already freaking BORING!!
    His approval rating is under 3%
    Does this man have any sense? NO! LOL

    Explore all you want SantorIum – you will NOT be president in 2012!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!

    May 3, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. not today

    Your kidding, Right! Santorum says cut medicare for everyone not just those below 55!!! (shoulnt be cut for anyone) Made the the statement on fox news sunday--4-25-2011

    May 3, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  13. TEE

    Another GOP coward, afraid to anounce....still trying to find a message based on facts...

    May 3, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Rick Santorum is a religious fanatic. Haven't we had enough of religious fanatics?

    May 3, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  15. Debbie

    Nothing new. Same stance as all GOP's on the far right.

    May 3, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  16. Bill R in Oakland

    Who is Rick Santorum?

    May 3, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  17. Squigman

    Another float in the parade of wannabee's.

    May 3, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |