2016 watch: Santorum's busy day in Iowa
March 25th, 2014
02:58 PM ET
8 months ago

2016 watch: Santorum's busy day in Iowa

(CNN) -- Rick Santorum's heading back to Iowa Wednesday.

And anytime a potential White House hopeful heads to the Hawkeye State, which kicks off the presidential caucus and primary calendar, the national political media takes notice.

The former senator from Pennsylvania and GOP presidential candidate who battled eventual nominee Mitt Romney deep into the 2012 Republican primary calendar has a jam packed 24-hour visit to Iowa. An aide to the former senator tells CNN that Santorum, who's considering another bid for the White House, will meet with senior strategists who guided his January 2012 victory in the Iowa caucuses.

Santorum, who remains popular with social and fiscal conservatives, will also do numerous local interviews with Iowa media and hold a press gaggle with reporters. And he'll headline a fundraiser for Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, who's running for Congress in a district that stretches from Des Moines to Council Bluffs. Schultz endorsed Santorum just before the 2012 Iowa caucuses, even though he and Romney share the same Mormon faith. Santorum edged out Romney to narrowly win the caucuses, in a delayed and disputed vote count.

Santorum has been very open about the possibility of a second White House run, and Virginia Davis, a senior Santorum adviser, hammered that point home, telling CNN that "Senator Santorum is taking a serious look at a presidential run in 2016."

In a recent interview with Time Magazine, Santorum said that if he were to launch another campaign for the GOP nomination, "I'd raise a lot more money. We'd have to have a stronger team, and a stronger fundraising base."

Santorum ran a bare bones campaign in 2012, and was vastly outspent by Romney. He added that if he ran again, "this time around I don't have to go out and prove my bona fides on being a conservative. I can focus in on how I differentiate myself from the rest of the field and how I think we can develop a winning message for the fall."

Even though Santorum was effectively the last man standing against Romney in 2012, he polls in the mid-single digits in most national polls of Republicans' choice for their party's 2016 presidential nominee, near the bottom of a very crowded pack of potential contenders.

Santorum's short visit to Iowa comes just two weeks after he was in New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House. He addressed the crowd at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua.

This is Santorum's first visit to Iowa since last August, when made the rounds at the Iowa State Fair, spoke at a major gathering of social conservatives, and headlined a county GOP fundraiser.

Santorum in the Crossfire


Filed under: 2016 • Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Have to give Frothy Rick his props... Unlike most people who have been beaten down and humiliated, he just won't go away.

    March 25, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Santorum, Romney, Cruz, Rubio, or Elmer Fudd? The decisions republicans will have to make to determine who will they will choose to lead us into the 18th century boggles the GOBagger mind.

    March 25, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. Ward Cleaver

    Rick is displaying how many times he will run for POTUS and fail miserably!

    March 25, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    Torquemada Santorum did more damage to Flip Flopney than anyone else in the run-up to 2012. Hopefully he'll be stupid enough to try again

    March 25, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. rs

    The GOP's Clown Car of Candidates wouldn't be full without the Republican Pope (who is further Right and less Christian that the real one).

    March 25, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. jedclampett

    Santorum runs! Sounds like a messy situation. No more religion in politics!

    March 25, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. sonnie3

    We already have a Elmer Fudd who has tried his best to be a dictator at this time.
    don't know if Rick Santorum will run, but he would lead this country well into the next chapter with leadership that has our freedoms and liberties in mind. That my friends will be the qualification's that the next potus will have. No more divide and conquer, but unite America and keep her strong.

    March 25, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. Chris-E...al

    Most dems ive spoke with think Hillary and Anthony Weiner should make a run for the W.H. also .

    March 25, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Smith. He agrees but he's a leader and chooses not to say anything. After all his beloved Mother and Grandparents were white.

    Also if he did, the GOP would simply one flip the script again. And if it's policy, why were they criticizing him less than a week after being in office?
    Please Smith don't insult my intelligence.

    March 25, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Thomas

    When will Rick Santorum put on the cute sweater and drag his kids around for self promotion ?

    March 25, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Tampa Tim

    Chris – What do you hear from Michele Bachmann? God told her to run in 2012, and I am sure she will talk to you first.

    March 25, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Donnie 3 – Elmer Fudd went back to Texas, but his little brother is waiting for the nod from the Kochs.

    March 25, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Are you joking?

    This guy has no chance. The Republicans frankly have no chance at the white house in 2016. Unless something has changed in their platform, that I'm not aware of?

    WE HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN BUSH / CHENEY YA'LL!

    The country is in no mood to try "less taxes and less regulation" and see what happens. It didn't work the first time.

    March 25, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. CB FL

    These people are making millions of dollars running for president. Sure beats having a real job! Its not about the job its about the money.

    March 25, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. CryBabies

    @Are you joking.... Are you joking? YA'LL?

    March 25, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. Silence DoGood

    Anyone in the middle politically or not a super-conservative Christian needs to check out Rick's web page. He is hard core for moral laws favoring his own religion. No consideration for other religions. This is one serious Theocracy politician. Beware!

    March 25, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. smith

    @Wake up People-The GOP did the same thing to Clinton when he was in office. Btw, how can you say he agrees when you don`t know the man personally? He spoke his own words, are you calling him a liar?

    March 25, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Tampa Tim

    smith -Oh, please.

    March 25, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Smith actually he has said it once and was vilified by the MSM. And please don't try to equate the way people felt about Bush after the economy tanked to the way many felt about this POTUS on Election Day. No one has ever asked to see Bush's birth certificate or college transcripts. False equivalency Smith and you know it. Bush has never been treated like this POTUS.

    March 25, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. smith

    @Wake up- Bush? When did I bring up Bush?

    March 25, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. smith

    @Wake up- The dems wanted to see Bush`s DD214 and service records. They wanted to see Mitt`s tax records. Sounds like you just started paying attention to politics in 2008. The mud slinging comes from both sides.

    March 25, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Tampa Tim

    Smith – Since you brought up Bush, did you get a chance to read how he refused to acknowledge the warnings leading up to 9-11-2001? I am sure you didn't.

    March 25, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    Unfortunately the "national media" doesn't realize that most of us don't give a hoot as to what these teaklans are doing now or in one or two years.
    I don't want to seem mean and uncaring, but did he bring his daughter Bell with him? Is he going to use her as a sympathy prop again?
    Even the screecher stopped using her son at some point.

    March 25, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Silence DoGood

    @Tampa Tim
    Smith – Since you brought up Bush, did you get a chance to read how he refused to acknowledge the warnings leading up to 9-11-2001? I am sure you didn't.
    ----------
    And don't forget my personal Bush Katrina quote: "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." –President Bush, on "Good Morning America," Sept. 1, 2005, six days after repeated warnings from experts about the scope of damage expected from Hurricane Katrina

    March 25, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |