Former Senator Rick Santorum Announces his Candidacy for a 2nd Presidential Bid

By on May 28, 2015
rick santorum

Former Senator Rick Santorum Announces his Candidacy for a 2nd Presidential Bid

rick santorum

Santorum was the runner-up in the GOP primary race four years ago but has never been considered his party’s heir apparent. Earlier this morning, Rick Santorum announced his second presidential bid.

Mr. Santorum is a former Senator from Pennsylvania, who with his wife home-schooled most of their 7 children, he appeals primarily to social conservatives. His campaign will be facing heavy competition for those voters this year from rivals like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Although Santorum was the surprise winner of the Iowa caucuses in 2012, thanks to

Evangelical Christian voters, and he went on to win 10 other states. Ultimately dragging out Mitt Romney’s quest for the nomination. This time he hopes to catch a second wave with a strategy of broadening his message beyond social issues to an economic populism he calls “blue-collar conservatism.”

 

His mystique has fallen so far that he is in danger of not making the 10-candidate cutoff for the first Republican debate on Aug. 6th, which will be determined by standings in national polls.

Until just days before the Iowa caucuses, Mr. Santorum was an underfinanced outsider, but his dogged campaigning in all 99 of the state’s counties, often before tiny crowds, paid off. His 34-vote margin of victory was not officially announced until two weeks after the caucuses, something Mr. Santorum resents to this day for slowing his momentum in later races.

He addressed 1,000 Evangelicals in Iowa last month at a forum where Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin read from a Christian devotional and Mr. Cruz called on believers to fall to their knees in prayer to stop the Supreme Court from legalizing same-sex marriage, Mr. Santorum called for an increase in the minimum wage, and for Republicans to reach out to the majority of Americans without a college degree.

He criticized his party for being stuck “with a 35-year-old message on the economy,” namely cutting taxes on the rich.

It is a message that has yet to gain much traction with the party’s core followers. But Mr. Santorum’s interest in economic populism is truly genuine, said John Brabender, his top strategist.

“He does feel very, very passionate about this whole idea we have to become the voice of working families,” Mr. Brabender said.

The expected backdrop for Mr. Santorum’s announcement speech reflects the blend of new and old issues: Penn United Technologies in Cabot, a plant that manufactures equipment for the oil and gas industries, among others, in which employees have an ownership stake. The company was founded as a “Christian company” which states on its website that “we exist to glorify God.”

Mr. Santorum grew up nearby, in Butler County north of Pittsburgh.