News / USA

    Former Senator Rick Santorum Joins US Republican Presidential Field

    Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (file photo)
    Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (file photo)

    Former U.S. senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is the latest Republican to formally join the race for his party’s presidential nomination next year.  Santorum is an outspoken social conservative and he joins an increasingly crowded field of Republican contenders for 2012.

    Rick Santorum returned to his home roots in western Pennsylvania to make the official announcement that he is in the 2012 race for president.

    “I am ready to do what has to be done for the next generation, with the courage to fight for freedom, with the courage to fight for America," said Santorum. "That is why I am announcing today that I am running for president of the United States.  Join the fight!  Join the fight!”

    Santorum opposes President Barack Obama’s health-care reform law as an assault on freedom.  He has also criticized the president for not being tough enough on what he calls the repressive regimes in Iran and Syria.

    Santorum is 53 and served two terms in the U.S. Senate where he developed a reputation as an outspoken social conservative strongly opposed to abortion, gay marriage and embryonic stem cell research.  Santorum was defeated in his bid for a third Senate term in 2006.

    Santorum hopes to appeal to social and religious conservatives within the Republican Party.  They make up a sizeable portion of Republicans who vote in the presidential nominating caucuses and primaries that will determine the party’s presidential nominee next year.

    Santorum joins an increasingly crowded Republican field, but he remains at the bottom of most recent polls gauging the strength of presidential contenders.

    Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney leads the field in most national polls.  He formally announced his candidacy last week.

    Romney recently spoke about the economy to a conference of social and religious conservatives in Washington.

    “You have people who are 55-years-old in the prime of their life, out of work, wondering if they will ever get another job," said Romney. "This is not just a crisis.  This is moral crisis that we face in this country.”

    Other candidates who have formally declared they are running include former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Georgia businessman Herman Cain and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson.

    Two other Republicans could join the race soon - Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who until recently served as President Obama’s ambassador to China.

    In addition, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin says she continues to mull a presidential bid, but says that could go on for weeks or months.

    Palin appeared on Fox News Sunday, following a bus tour last week that she says was intended to highlight U.S. patriotic sites.

    “We have got to turn things around in 2012," said Palin. "Whether it is me throwing my name in the hat [deciding to run for president] or just supporting the right candidates, the response has been great confirmation of the need for real positive change in this country.”

    The first nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire will not be held until early next year, but Republican contenders are announcing now so that they can raise money, organize their campaigns in the early contest states and take part in upcoming presidential debates this year.


    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora