Traveling man picks up the pace
March 3rd, 2011
10:07 AM ET
11 years ago

Traveling man picks up the pace

(CNN) - The man who is arguably the most frequent flyer of early stages of the battle for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is picking up his already frenetic pace.

Within five days next week, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania will visit Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire, the three states that traditionally kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar.

In an e-mail release Wednesday morning, the likely White House hopeful's political action committee, America's Foundation, touted Santorum's travels next week, most of which had already been announced.

On Wednesday, Fox News suspended the contributor contracts of both Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who Thursday is expected to announce his intention to explore running for the White House. Fox News says the contracts will be terminated on May 1 if both men become candidates.

Santorum's first post-Fox News appearance was on CNN. On "John King, USA," he said the move by Fox won't change his timetable on deciding on whether to run for the White House.

"No, it doesn't affect it at all. I look at it as I've been up front about, you know, that I'm looking at this and exploring it and it's not going to," Santorum told King Wednesday night. "It's not going to have any impact on what I'm hearing in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina, you know, how our fund-raisers are going, all the things that when you test the waters you have to test to see how you're doing really are quite separate than media appearances on Fox."

Santorum starts next week in Iowa, which kicks-off the race for the White House. He joins Gingrich, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and other possible GOP presidential contenders at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's Spring Kick Off near Des Moines. The organization is one of the state's leading and most influential social conservative groups.

On Tuesday, Santorum does radio interviews in Des Moines and Sioux City and headlines the Crawford County Republican Women Lunch. On Thursday, he's in South Carolina, which traditionally holds the first southern primary. Santorum speaks to a Boy Scout dinner in Easley, S.C. On Friday, he heads to New Hampshire, which holds the first primary along the road to the White House. Santorum headlines the Strafford County Republican committee's annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner.

If Santorum formally jumps into the presidential race, he could face a string of better funded opponents with larger national political operations.

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. Still, 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.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Who cares, this guy is such a NON-ISSUE except in his own mind.

    March 3, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. PalmReader

    "Still, 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."

    Looks as if FOX News doesn't want Santorum or Gingrich hogging up the spotlight for Sarah the Diva and Godless Mike Huckabee. As for Santorum, not a chance he'll ever become President. Then again, neither will Palin, Huckabee, Romney, Gingrich, Bachmann, Pawlenty, Daniels, Huntsman, Barbour, Trump, Guiliani, Ron Paul, Pizza man Cain, and that new guy on the list - what's his name from Louisiana. But, keep digging from the bottom though, GOPers. God knows who else will be crawling out of that hole of dispair you all have dug yourselves into?

    March 3, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Bob

    We in PA kicked out little Ricky by a 28 point margin after only one term. Get a grip. This boy has nothing to offer on a national ticket.

    March 3, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. willie floyd

    This guy just needs to give it up.

    March 3, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. paul

    Rick, save your time and money. The American people do not want a controversial right wing extemist for president. They are tired of the rhetoric and repeating of sound bites and talking points. Being a "birther" just won't do it anymore unless you keep your job at FOX. Enough said.

    March 3, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    At least this freak is beating Barbour who in the last WSJ poll was getting a solid 0% of the Republican vote.

    Then you have the usual suspects...

    Ron Paul is always a solid 6%, that is 1% higher than during the last Presidental election, if he keeps it up he might become the Repub nominee in 2146

    Sarah Palin, always a solid 12% which goes to show that every country has their 10%-ers (AKA insane people)

    Newt Gingrich is always a solid 8%, that i amazingly the exact precentage of old people who vote Republican that has the beginning stages of Dimentia and Alsheimers, so they think that every day is 1993.

    Hucakbee is leading with a whopping 25% of the vote, but even the people voting for Huckabee are saying lets get this over with fast because the other shoe is about to drom and the moron keeps digging himself into a deeper hole every day...

    etc etc etc

    March 3, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. terence

    A complete and total waste of time..i live in PA, and this guy deserved his removal after only 1 term. He is way over the top in ultra right wing ideolgy...

    March 3, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Chumlee

    Come on CNN – this guy was defeated – could not win relection. Why waste print time on him?

    March 3, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. fayse

    Perhaps the GOP/Tea Party should just stop this big joke and go straight to the Kock brothers and Rupert Mudock to annoint their chosen one. I believe in America and I don't believe that the majority of Americans will stand by and let these three super rich czars choose for us. And by the way, the Tea Party is just a reincarnation of the John Birch Society which the father of the Kochs was one of the founders and funders.

    March 3, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. scott

    Save your breath and your money Rick. No one wants a hate filled bigot as POTUS. Your story is well told here in PA, wait until the rest of the nation gets an ear load of your hateful rhetoric. P.S. Google Santorum if you really want to know what Rick's made of.

    March 3, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. shoegazer


    March 3, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |