Santorum to Decide Soon on 2012, Says Palin Would Do Well

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 8, 2010   |   12:30PM   |   Charleston, SC

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum says he will make a decision in early 2011 about whether he will mount a bid for the Republican nomination for president.

Although he would likely be a long-shot to capture the nomination, Santorum would present a stark contrast between his own pro-life views and voting record and the pro-abortion record President Barack Obama has compiled in just two years.

Santorum has visited top primary election battleground states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and he told The Sun News more about his presidential plans.

“I’m getting here. I’m getting feelers on whether people think that what I’m saying, what I’m thinking, what I’m doing and what I’ve done is something they could get behind and be supportive of,” he said.

Although some political observers say a Santorum candidacy is quixotic — citing the fact that he lost his re-election bid in Pennsylvania for his Senate seat — the pro-life advocate cites another problem in capturing the GOP nomination:  Sarah Palin.

He says she is so magnanimous that she’ll “take a lot of air out of the room, that’s for sure” if she runs for the Republican nomination.

Last week, Palin drew hundreds of people in Charleston, South Carolina, where Santorum was interviewed for a book signing. Santorum on Monday spoke to a group of about 30 at a luncheon.

“She is such a media star, I would think it’s hard for her to have normal interactions with voters. I have my own challenges and that’s getting the crowd. Her problem isn’t getting the crowd, it’s sort of having more real time with people. I get plenty of real time and that lower profile works for me in a way that I can go do things that are just going to be harder for her,” he said.

Earlier this year, Santorum wooed pro-life advocates in Wisconsin with a speech blasting abortion at a fundraising event for Wisconsin Right to Life.

“In 1996, I stepped up as the leader on the partial birth abortion issue,” he said, adding that it was a great educational effort as well because “with the partial birth abortion issue, there’s one thing you can’t miss — the baby.”

Santorum also had a personal connection to the fight against the gruesome abortion procedure.

“My wife Karen was 19 weeks pregnant with our fourth child, the age at which many partial birth abortions are performed,” he said. “Two weeks later, Karen gave birth to our son Gabriel. And we were told he would not live. We held him for two days, and then he died.”

The experience led Karen in writing a book “Letters to Gabriel;” and inspiring many others.

The Santorum family later had a baby girl with Trisomy and were told she would not live and that it was a condition incompatible with life. Doctors gave the family no hope and prescribed a lethal dose of medication telling them it would comfort baby Isabella.

“Baby Bella may not be able to talk or walk, but she can love. She has changed the hearts and minds of many,” he said.