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Santorum to Test the 2012 Waters

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania Senator (Brendan Smialowski/Getty)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum said on Wednesday that he's forming his own version of a presidential exploratory committee, saying in an interview with Fox News, “In 2008 Americans wanted a president who they could believe in, but after two years they realized that what they needed is a president who believes in them.”

Santorum this week unveiled his Rick Santorum Exploratory Committee website with the slogan "Making America America Again."

Santorum told Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren that he is forming a “testing-the-waters committee” after getting positive feedback during trips to 25 states in the past year. Santorum represented Pennsylvania in the Senate for two terms from 1994 to 2006, when he lost a bid for re-election. He is a staunch social conservative, particularly known for his views on abortion and homosexuality, the latter of which he famously likened to pedophilia and bestiality. 

The formation of his committee, which appears similar to a presidential exploratory committee, would allow him to begin the steps toward raising money for a potential presidential bid. He is currently finishing low in early polls, but his stances on social issues are expected to help him in important Republican primary states such as South Carolina and Iowa, where he plans to visit this fall for a series of appearances.  

Santorum is in New Hampshire on Thursday, along with other GOP presidential aspirants Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Santorum and Pawlenty will stick around the granite state until the end of the week.

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