Rick Santorum will enter 2016 race; announcement expected this afternoon

Sources close to the Santorum campaign have confirmed the former Pennsylvania Senator will officially enter the field for the GOP nomination in 2016.  According to a tweet from ABC’s George Stephanopoulos “he (Santorum) is officially in the race.”  Santorum is anticipated to announce his presidential bid from Cabot-based Penn United Technologies this afternoon.

Santorum was first elected to the Senate representing Pennsylvania and was part of the class of 1994 in which the GOP took control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in fifty years.  A reliable conservative, fiscal conservative, ally of President Bush and recognized for his frequent clashes with Edward Kennedy on the Senate floor, Santorum rose to become the third-ranking member of the senate leadership before being unseated by pro-life democrat, Bob Casey Jr. in 2006.  A favorite among social conservatives, Santorum won the Iowa caucuses, but was thwarted in his 2012 bid for the Oval Office by eventual nominee, Mitt Romney.

Santorum is facing an uphill battle.

Fairly or not, Santorum has a reputation as being too ideological and too reflexively anti-government. To silence skeptics, Santorum must find a method to convince the GOP base he is a viable alternative to a swelling field of candidates stronger than the one he faced in 2012.  Trailing badly in national polls, Santorum’s decision to enter the race has many GOP insiders scratching their heads.  With the Oval Office unattainable and the vice-president slot equally improbable, it is likely Santorum is positioning himself for a potential cabinet appointment should the GOP re-claim the White House.

Carping about debate formats prior to entering the race is not a good way to kick off a campaign.

 

[The Hill]

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