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Rick Santorum Wants People To Know He Still Exists, In Case They Want Him To Run For President

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RICK SANTORUM
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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) is gathering advisers to talk about a potential 2016 presidential run, National Journal reports.

“Last time, we were having trouble getting our phone calls returned at this point,” said John Brabender, Republican strategist and Santorum's political guru. “Now other people are calling that are credible consultants saying, ‘Hey, is there space for me on the campaign somewhere?’ We did not have that interest last time.”

National Journal's Alex Roarty reports:

In recent months, Santorum has gathered his inner circle of longtime advisers to sketch out a presidential campaign. He’s scheduling trips to New Hampshire and Iowa, his aides say, and will stop over in South Carolina, where his son attends the Citadel. And at the end of April, he’ll release a book that could double as his candidacy’s manifesto, fleshing out the themes that animated his previous White House bid.

...

His advisers readily admit that the coming GOP field, however it takes shape, will present a far more daunting challenge. In just two years, an entire generation of rising conservative stars—including Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Bobby Jindal—has leapfrogged Santorum in the presidential pecking order. But, these advisers argue, the former senator is in a much stronger position now, coming off his 2012 run—at least as strong a position as any other prospective GOP contender.

Santorum recently told Fox News he wants to "stay involved in the mix" ahead of 2016.

“I’m certainly concerned about this election upcoming, and have left my options on the table for 2016. And if you’re going to leave your options on the table you’ve got to get around and see people," Santorum told Fox's Stuart Varney.

In August 2013, Santorum said he'd be "open" to another presidential run, repeating the claim a few months later.

"A year from now, I'll have to make that decision, as to what to go into next or to stay with what I am doing," Santorum said in Nov. 2013.

Santorum ran in the 2012 GOP primary, but suspended his campaign in April of that year.

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