November 10th, 2010
07:12 PM ET
12 years ago

2012er, a Tea Party Prez?

(CNN) - A potential 2012 presidential candidate is feeding the flames.

Former Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum told Politico Wednesday that most of the buzzed about candidates aren't Tea Party candidates. On the other hand, he said he and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson come close.

"There isn't a single candidate running for president who can claim to be a Tea Party candidate," Santorum told Politico. "That's by definition. The people involved in the movement weren't involved in politics, and were only activated by what they saw in Washington."

Santorum and Johnson no longer hold elected office, a fact Santorum said qualifies them as possible Tea Party candidates.

"I qualify," Santorum said. "I was out, content to be out, but now I feel compelled to come back."

Santorum is sometimes mentioned as a possible presidential candidate and says he will make a decision early next year. He traveled extensively to Iowa and South Carolina during the primary season and was in New Hampshire in early November, all states that are sites of early presidential primary battles.

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Jus Sayin

    Senator Santorum, I am not convinced of your definition of Tea Party Candidate.

    Governor Rick Perry of Texas could probably make a strong case for being Tea Party ideal, and though he was just re-elected, he and Gov Jindal are both issuing books and making national appearances, although only Perry wants to run in 2012. Jindal has plenty of time later for Presidential campaign.

    November 10, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. ED FL

    I can see America googiling Santorum then Voting for him after reading his profile ,likes and dislikes. he couldn't get the votes off Michael Steeles bus Group.

    November 10, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. Independent Voter

    "I was out, content to be out, but now I feel compelled to come back."

    Nope, you have been laying the groundwork to try and get back in for some time now. Best save your money since you won't even win the primary.

    November 10, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  4. Squigman

    God help our country.

    November 10, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. David

    Santorum is pure Right-wing EVIL.

    November 10, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Juanita

    Tea Party candidate as President? Caramba! Better have the British recolonize us than that.

    November 10, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. Kevin

    Know him. Terrible terrible person

    November 10, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. Adalbert

    This is just what we need a religious fanatic for president.

    November 10, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  9. Cmei

    I truly believe that most Americans aren't stupid enough to vote for a Tea Party candidate. I think political parties today have become somewhat of a mockery, but the Tea Party takes the cake for being the most comical group of idiots out there. Yes, I am name calling, but I'm also calling it as it is. I know many Tea Party members and all of them are ignorant, narrow-minded individuals who claim to be "patriots". If the word patriot is defined that way, then I don't want to be a patriot.
    I want what's best for this country and I know the TP won't be the answer to our problems.

    November 10, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. Pharmer Joshua

    Gov. Gary Johnson and Senator Rick Santorum represent the two wings representing the Tea Party. Johnson can claim to be more of a fiscal hawk, while Santorum can claim the social conservatism mantle. Gary Johnson can also claim the entrepreneur, practical business experience, and actual intelligence descriptors. Unfortunately for him, all Santorum can claim is that of the town idiot. One glance at his legislative record and you see an incredibly amount of hypocrisy on the spending side. Johnson has what it takes. Santorum has delusional visions of obtaining the presidency.

    November 10, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  11. George of the jungle

    God help us all.

    November 10, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    PLEASE – CNN – Just because it WALKS – does NOT mean they can be President!!!! Everything from the hills is going to come out and think they can be president!!!

    This is T'sah and I am OUT of Campaign MODE – N2 Moving America Forward with President Obama!

    November 10, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  13. TS37

    If it is possible...Rick Santorum is a bigger idiot than Sarah Palin. And by the time the progressives (in the media and out of it) are through exposing his shortcomings, he will wish he had stayed "out of it."

    November 10, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. roro

    Santorum is a dangerous card carrying lunatic

    November 10, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. Len

    God helps us if this nut case wants to be President of the US.

    November 10, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |