Peter J. Smith

News, , ,

Rick Santorum: official presidential launch for June 6

Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 27, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Former Pennsylvania US Senator and pro-life champion Rick Santorum has confirmed that he intends to launch his official bid for US president on June 6.

The Associated Press reports that Santorum advisors say the pro-life Republican, who has a great deal of support among social conservatives, intends to launch in western Pennsylvania. Santorum’s family has ties to the area, especially since his immigrant Italian grandfather worked among the coalfields there.

After the announcement, Santorum will head to Iowa and then to New Hampshire, key battleground states that he will have to win in order to give him a leg-up over other GOP rivals, such as front-runner and former governor Mitt Romney.

The rumor of an official presidential run has been confirmed by Keith Fournier, editor-in-chief of Catholic Online.  Santorum is a Catholic and father of seven children. His youngest daughter, Isabella, is three years-old with Trisomy 18, a rare condition which kills 90 percent of those with the disability within the first year. Most children diagnosed with the genetic disorder before birth are aborted within the womb rather than allowed to live until natural death.

Fournier said Santorum confirmed that he will make an official announcement running for the presidency then.

“One of the factors in my decision is to make sure that there is a conservative in the race who has a track record of leading on moral cultural issues,” Santorum told Fournier, adding that he has demonstrated “the courage to lead” on social conservative issues unlike most of the other candidates. (See Catholic Online for more)

Santorum has been mulling a presidential run for well over a year and a half, and even asked prayers from supporters in September about making his decision. FOX News suspended Santorum’s contract as a contributor for 60 days in March to avoid conflict of interest problems as Santorum vocalized even more the possibility of a run for U.S. president.

Santorum announced in April that he was forming a presidential exploratory committee to raise funds and test interest in a potential run for president.

Once the number three Republican in the US Senate, Santorum exited politics in 2006 after losing his seat to sitting U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. in 2006. Casey ran on his father’s pro-life reputation (the elder Casey was a pro-life Democrat governor shut out of the 1992 convention in order to prevent him speaking his pro-life views), and voters had soured on Republicans overall that year.

The former Senator will have a lot of heavy lifting to do to rally Republicans and overtake GOP frontrunners. The latest Gallup poll shows Santorum’s support at 2 percent among GOP voters, even when Sarah Palin (who is raising suspicions of a presidential bid) is not included.

The GOP’s frontrunners, according to Gallup, are Mitt Romney (19 percent) and Sarah Palin (15 percent), followed by Ron Paul (10 percent), Newt Gingrich (9 percent), and Herman Cain (8 percent) in a statistical tie for third.

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