Pro-Life former Senator Rick Santorum Formally Announces Presidential Candidacy

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-life former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum

Pro-life former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum made his presidential campaign official yesterday with an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and a powerful speech from the Somerset County Courthouse in Somerset, Pennsylvania. The one-time number three Republican in the Senate said, “I believe now that Americans are not looking for someone they can believe in, they’re looking for a president who believes in them.” Santorum concluded, “I’m ready to lead.”

His announcement brings to seven the number of Republicans who’ve jumped in the fray, but that number could increase in the near future. Officially in the race against pro-abortion President Barack Obama are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, and entrepreneur Donald Trump have already said they’re not running. Reporting mulling over a candidacy are former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

In 2006 Santorum lost to Democrat Bob Casey, Jr., an extremely difficult year for Republicans, especially if you are running, as Santorum was, against a man who was the son of the beloved pro-life Governor of Pennsylvania, Bob Casey, Sr.. Until that defeat, Santorum had won four straight contests, twice for Congress and then twice for Senator, winning his first Senate race in 1994 at the tender age of 36 in a stunning upset of Democrat Harris Wofford.

Santorum is probably best known to pro-lifers for a famous 1999 back-and-forth with pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) in the context of a debate over a ban on partial-birth abortion. By the time their exchange ended, and Boxer’s extremism systematically exposed, she was reduced to sputtering, “I am not answering these questions! I am not answering these questions” (see http://www.nrlc.org/news/1999/NRL1199/boxsan.html).

Santorum has also been a forceful critic of the notion floated by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels that there ought to be an intra-party “truce” over social issues, such as abortion. He had the following to say in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt (www.hughhewitt.com/transcripts.aspx?id=560a33c0-733e-4239-a8b7-fc43e9e3e76c)

“I think he is as far off base…I don’t think he understands that Reagan’s three-legged stool is not just that we have three legs of the stool, the social conservative, the fiscal conservative and national security conservatives, but that the material made of all three parts of the stool is the same. …And for him to say that those issues need to be put in the background, I just, I’m stunned by it. …I’m not shutting up about those issues. I think they’re important issues.”

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