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article imageSantorum says he could have beaten Obama, eyes 2016

By Martin Laine     Mar 21, 2014 in Politics
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum says he could have beaten President Barack Obama if he had been the Republican candidate instead of Mitt Romney, and made it clear he’s interested in trying again in 2016.
Santorum finished second to Mitt Romney in the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. He won critical primaries in Iowa, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kansas, but by April he only had half the delegates that Romney had, and so he dropped out of the race.
“I ran out of money, and I ran out of time. And the forces were against me,” said in a Time magazine interview published today.
Asked if he thought he could have won the general election had he been the candidate, Santorum replied “without a doubt.”
A staunch conservative, especially on social issues, Santorum said he had to spend too much time explaining his positions, and making himself known to voters on a national level.
“I had to establish myself in the conservative world as sort of the authentic conservative across the board, including cultural and moral issues,” Santorum said. “A lot of people didn’t know that much about me and my positions about those issues.”
According to the Biography website, Santorum, 55, married and a father of seven, graduated from Penn State University with a B.A. in political science. He has an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, and a law degree from the Dickinson School of Law.
In 1990 he was elected to Congress from the 18th Pennsylvania District, upsetting a long-time Democratic incumbent. He was elected to the U.S. Senate 1994, and re-elected in 2000. He became chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, the third-ranking member of the party leadership in the Senate.
He did not win re-election in 2006, and returned to private life, re-emerging as the 2012 presidential election approached. Since 2012, Santorum has been CEO of Echolight Studios, a Christian movie company. Now it sounds like he’s getting ready to run again.
“I can’t sit here and watch our country decline in stature as dramatically as it has in the last five years and not be concerned about the future of America,” he said. “I just look at the overall culture of the country and see a lot of people who are fearful, don’t believe that good times are coming feel like there are people out there left behind.”
Santorum blamed the decline in stature on Pres. Obama’s handling of foreign policy issues, beginning with pulling out a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, and a litany of other decisions.
“From what we did in Iran during the revolution, which was nothing; turning our back on Mubarak; what we did in Syria. I would not have drawn a red line on chemical weapons. I thought it was a mistake to do it,” he said. “This president has single-handedly elevated Vladimir Putin from a babysitter for a bunch of oligarchs to a world leader who’s now grabbing territory with no consequence.”
This time around, Santorum said, he’s better known and won’t have to spend as much time explaining himself. And there are some things he would do differently.
“I’d raise a lot more money. We’d have to have a stronger team, and a stronger fund-raising base,” he said.
More about Rick Santorum, 2012 presidential election, 2016 presidential election
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