Rick Santorum Launches Conservative Group 'Patriot Voices'

Friday, 08 Jun 2012 10:30 AM

By Todd Beamon

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Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said on Friday that he is beginning a new organization called Patriot Voices to serve “people left behind by both parties” and to tout many of the issues he espoused during his run for the GOP presidential nomination.

The group seeks to “mobilize one million conservatives around this country who are committed to promoting faith, family, freedom, and opportunity,” it said in a statement. Santorum said he wanted to serve “people left behind by both parties” and promised to “hold campaigns accountable.”

The group also would help presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and “make sure Mitt is the next president of the United States and that we get rid of the scourge that has been the bane of the economy and the country, which has been Barack Obama and his administration.”

“One of the things that we found as I traveled around the country is that people came up to me a lot and said . . . I was out there speaking about things that gave voice to their concerns on a lot of issues,” the Pennsylvania Republican said in an interview with Fox News about the group, “Patriot Voices.”

Santorum was speaking from Chicago, where he is scheduled to speak at Conservative Political Action Caucus.

“People are concerned about the economy, people are concerned about national security, but I think a lot of people have basic anxiety about where America is going — and I tried to talk about those during the campaign: the adherence to the constitution and the importance of understanding where our rights come from and who we are as a people and a culture and how that is being changed by this administration on the issue of religious liberty or life or marriage,” he said.

Santorum said his meeting last month with Romney “went exceptionally well” – adding that he backed the former Massachusetts governor only in a late-night email to ensure that his endorsement landed in his supporters’ inboxes first thing the next morning.

“We had a great discussion about exactly the issues that we will be talking about with patriotvoices.com,” Santorum said. “It’s about the issues that are going to connect with ordinary Americans who are feeling left out of the political process that see both parties talk past each other and no one trying to really get back to the basic principles of our country and unify America going forward.”

Santorum said he needed to clear his campaign debt, estimated at as much as $2 million, before deciding on his political future. Up until this point, Santorum has been raising money to retire the debt, according to Fox.

Patriot Voices also said it would “work closely with the Red White and Blue fund to offer financial and other political support to candidates who will stand up for conservative values.”

The RWB Fund is both Santorum’s superPAC and his leadership PAC, a legal hybrid political action committee now that he is no longer a candidate. Patriot Voices will also work much like a leadership PAC: promoting these faith and family issues and backing like-minded candidates.

It is not clear, however, if Patriot Voices is starting out with any cash, but the Red, White, and Blue Fund had less than $300,000 in cash as of the last reporting period. Santorum has not been raising funds for the hybrid PAC.

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