Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told Newsmax he is "seriously looking at" another run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
"My family is also seriously looking at it," Santorum told Newsmax Friday, adding that they will support whatever decision he makes.
"Or a better way to put it is that I will support whatever decision they make," he quickly added with a laugh.
Santorum spoke to Newsmax moments after he delivered a spirited speech to a standing-room-only crowd of the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference.
In his remarks to the PLC, Santorum hit hard on the pro-family agenda he carried as a GOP hopeful in 2012, when Santorum battled Mitt Romney to the end of the nomination fight.
Declaring that "if a family crumbles, society crumbles," the former Pittsburgh-area congressman and senator made a passionate plea for his party to "reclaim the issue of marriage — a man and a woman raising children — and not to redefine it but to promote."
Santorum contrasted his emphasis on social issues against other Republicans who have exclusively discussed economics.
In a not-so-subtle whack at Romney, Santorum said: "In talking about economics only, [Republicans] are flying on one wing and spiraling down."
He then hushed the crowd by retelling the story of suddenly suspending his 2012 campaign when daughter Bella seriously became ill, of the Santorum family praying around her bedside, and of her stunning recovery.
Recalling how he returned to the campaign trail at a rally in St. Charles, Mo., Santorum said he was greeted by an overflow crowd and one man held his young daughter on his shoulders holding a sign that read: "Vote for Bella's Dad."
"Rick really hit it out of the ballpark today," former Rep. Phil English, R-Pa., who backed Romney for nomination over Santorum, told Newsmax. "And if he runs next time, he'll be strong."
For 25 years, PLC has been the premier conclave of Keystone State conservatives and its session at the Radisson Hotel in Harrisburg, Pa., drew more than a record 750 participants, according to conference organizer Lowman Henry.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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