Santorum Acting Like a 2016 White House Contender

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Friday, 21 Feb 2014 10:05 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum appears to be planning another bid for the White House, with a number of trips to key primary states and an upcoming book elaborating on the key themes that defined his last presidential campaign.

The Pennsylvania Republican, who finished second to Mitt Romney in 2012 in the GOP primaries, has for months been in talks with his inner circle of longtime advisers, though he has not yet decided whether he will run, National Journal reports.

His prospects in 2016, according to the Journal, could be even better than his performance in the last presidential primary when he won 11 nominating contests and hundreds of delegates.

"Does it matter that The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, or National Journal doesn't have him a top-tier guy going in? I don't think it bothers him one bit," David Urban, a Washington, D.C., -based lobbyist and confidant of Santorum's, told the Journal. "I think he'd rather under-promise and over-deliver."

Santorum's advisers predict a 2016 campaign would be significantly better funded than his operation in 2012, when his campaign was so cash-strapped it couldn't afford polling or even a campaign bus.

"Last time, we were having trouble getting our phone calls returned at this point," John Brabender, a Santorum political adviser, told the Journal.

"Now other people are calling that are credible consultants saying, 'Hey, is there space for me on the campaign somewhere?' We did not have that interest last time."

After his exit from the 2012 primaries, Santorum set up Patriot Voices, a political advocacy organization, which some say could become the basis of his campaign organization. It already has 350 chapters of volunteers across the country, the Journal reports.

Despite the promising prospects, however, Santorum's conservative social views, which were controversial in his last campaign, could hinder him again.

"If he runs, as many of those close to him expect he will, he'll start off yet again as the underdog. Fortunately for Santorum, it's a position he's comfortable holding," the Journal concludes.

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