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Rick Santorum For President Who?

From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum declared his candidacy for president of the United States on Monday, vowing he’s “in it to win it.”
Santorum, a favorite among his party’s social conservatives, chose to confirm his plans during an appearance Monday morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America” at the banner-draped site he chose in the western Pennsylvania coalfields for his formal announcement.
In the network interview, Santorum accused President Barack Obama of having a weak foreign policy, saying he doesn’t feel he has stood up sufficiently to Iran and asserting he has done too little to speak out against Syrian President Bashir Assad for the violence there.
The announcement comes as no surprise. The Republican hopeful signaled his intention to officially kick off his campaign for the White House last week after making numerous  trips to the key primary states of Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire in recent months.
The latest polls have shown Santorum to be trailing more well-known Republicans vying for the party’s nomination to take on President Barack Obama in 2012. Findings from one survey released by Gallup last week suggest the former senator lacks strong name recognition among voters on the right side of the aisle.
Santorum formed a presidential exploratory committee for the next election cycle earlier this year. The Los Angeles Times reported just prior to the launch of the organization that Santorum described himself as a “tortoise” and overlooked in the GOP field, though perhaps that would soon change.
The blunt-talking conservative lacks the name recognition and fundraising organization of his better-known rivals, but the two-term senator’s advisers are counting on social conservatives who have huge sway in some early nominating states and have yet to settle on a favorite candidate.
So far, those social conservatives are weighing already declared candidates such as Pawlenty and potential contenders Bachmann and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Santorum, a lawyer by training, had been laying the groundwork for a presidential bid when he lost a bruising re-election bid to the Senate in 2006. His opposition to abortion, gay marriage and embryonic stem cell research makes him an appealing candidate for conservatives. But his sometimes abrasive style alienated voters in Democratic-leaning Pennsylvania, and they replaced him with Bob Casey, an anti-abortion Democrat.
Santorum’s policy positions align with national conservatives who now are looking at many of the expected candidates with skepticism.
Romney’s changes of heart on gay rights and abortion do little to help his second presidential effort. Gingrich is twice divorced. Huntsman, who worked for three Republican administrations, nonetheless accepted Obama’s offer to be the U.S. ambassador to China.
Santorum, 53, has his own hurdles to overcome: He has been out of elective office since 2007 and lacks the robust fundraising or personal wealth of his likely rivals.
He is expected at next Monday’s debate in New Hampshire, which is likely to include more of the expected field

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