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Rick Santorum “Open” to Running for President Again in 2016

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 11/26/12 5:21 PM

National

Rick Santorum became the surprise conservative candidate in the Republican presidential election process in 2012, but the pro-life former senator fell short when going up against former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Now, in a new interview with the Weekly Standard, the strong pro-life advocate says he is “open” to potentially seeking the nomination in 2016.

“I’m open to it, yeah,” Santorum replied. “I think there’s a fight right now as to what the soul of the Republican party’s going to be and the conservative movement, and we have something to say about that. I think from our battle, we’re not going to leave the field.”

Santorum told the conservative magazine that he won the same number of states — 11 — that Ronald Reagan won in 1976 before going on to become the nominee and president in 1980.

He said Romney failed to make a good argument about the role of government in people’s lives.

“We didn’t make that argument in this race. Our candidate didn’t make that argument, as some of us said during the campaign, because he was not capable of making that argument,” Santorum said. “In my opinion, what could have been and what should have been a referendum election on what it means to be an American, what it means for us as a country to head down the road toward European socialism, we just simply didn’t make the argument at a time when I think America was ripe to hear the argument.”

Between now and the preparation for 2016, Santorum says he and his new group Patriot Voices will make the case for emphasizing pro-life values in the GOP.

“We’re going to talk about all of the issues with an emphasis on cultural issues,” he said.

Santorum was praised for pressing pro-life issues during the GOP primary.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List, which endorsed Santorum and actively campaigned for him across the nation, told LifeNews, “With great vision and passion, Rick Santorum reached the hearts of pro-life voters and allowed them to show the strength of their voting bloc. The Susan B. Anthony List is proud to have mobilized those key voters.”

“Pro-life voters are a consistent and growing constituency, who proved invaluable to Senator Santorum in state after state throughout the primary elections. We will continue to reach out and mobilize those voters and millions more like them across the country. The political muscle of the pro-life movement will be critical to defeating President Obama in November,” the Susan B. Anthony List president said.

Throughout the primary election, exit polling revealed Santorum’s strong pro-life position gave him a 4 to 10 percentage point advantage among all primary voters, Dannenfelser said.

Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins made similar remarks.

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“Rick Santorum’s historic run for president achieved remarkable success because his campaign was based not on money spent but on the message of faith, family and freedom that he carried. I commend his courage, boldness and tenacity in fighting for the values that made America great, and are fundamental to returning America to greatness,” he said.

“Millions of voters flocked to Rick not because he was a Republican, but because he passionately articulated the connection between America ‘s financial greatness and its moral and cultural wholeness. He realizes that real problem-solving starts with an understanding that the economy and the family are indivisible,” Perkins added. “This values message generated enthusiasm and drew many new voters into the process. If the Republican establishment hopes to generate this same voter intensity in the fall elections, Santorum voters must see it demonstrate a genuine and solid commitment to the core values issues.”