Santorum Eyes 2012 Presidential Run

Wednesday, 13 Apr 2011 11:13 PM

By Hiram Reisner

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Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum Wednesday announced he is forming a presidential exploratory committee, saying the only question remaining about a possible run in 2012 is whether he “can raise the money to do that.”

rick,santorum,“I have been out traveling the country, I’ve been to 25 states over the past year, spending a lot of extra time in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and Nevada now,” Santorum told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from people, a lot of encouragement, and I feel we have a good, strong presence on the ground.

“And now really the test for me is whether we can raise the money that is necessary,” Santorum said. “So, I’m going to set up a committee, a testing-the-waters committee – it’s called the Rick Santorum Exploratory Committee, which you can go to at ricksantorum.com – and we are going to determine over the next few weeks, as to whether the resources are going to be there to do it.

“So, if you want to encourage me to do this, and take the final step to be a candidate, then we’ll see if we can raise the money to do that,” he said.

Van Susteren asked if his announcement means that Santorum is going “full speed ahead,” and whether he doesn’t need to talk further with his family, and ”all those issues have been resolved.” Santorum said March 29 the health of his young daughter, who has been ill, would be a deciding factor in whether he made a White House run.

“Well, resources is a huge part of it. I mean, if you’re out there to find out whether it is real or not, you’ve got to have the resources to be able to make that happen,” he said. “And in the past I’ve been very blessed [by] the people in Pennsylvania, frankly [by] the people in this country,” noting that a recent poll put him in a “dead heat” with President Barack Obama in Pennsylvania.

Santorum made his announcement on Fox News, which placed Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on leave as paid contributors, because they were widely considered to be investigating presidential runs.

Santorum was known in Congress as a fierce opponent of abortion rights and stem-cell research. He served in the Senate from 1995-2007, and was defeated for a third term by Democrat Bob Casey.

Santorum joins former governors Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty as the only major potential Republican 2012 candidates who have formed presidential exploratory committees. Gingrich said in March he would probably decide to run “within a month.”

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