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)
TEXT SIZE - +

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.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid