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Santorum Comes Out Swinging in Second Bid for Republican Presidential Nomination

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by John Burger via Aleteia.org

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the Catholic, pro-life candidate who showed early promise in the 2012 election cycle that eventually nominated Mitt Romney, is taking a second shot at the White House.

Santorum, 57, announced Wednesday in his hometown of Butler, Pa., that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination, saying he will make working families the hallmark of his presidential campaign.

“I believe that the right to life must be protected for all Americans – especially those who have not yet been born,” he said.

The GOP field already has six declared candidates and could grow to at least twice as many in the lead-up to primary season’s beginning in January.

ABC News opined that “several contenders are expected to give [Santorum] tougher competition this time around for the Christian conservative votes he relied on in 2012.”

Santorum was declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses in 2012 after a 16-day delay. He acknowledged that this time around, he needs more money for his campaign and will need to make a stronger showing right out of the gate. “You gotta do well in Iowa,” he said in an interview with ABC News chief anchorman George Stephanopoulos. “You gotta win on election night as opposed to two weeks later.”

The former senator has already come out swinging, taking issue with Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, another declared presidential candiate, who suggested that the Islamic State group came into existence, in part, because of the sometimes hawkish nature of the Republicans in the US. The exchange also revealed Santorum’s thinking about radical Islam.

“ISIS didn’t come about because of … the arms that America left behind,” Santorum said. “ISIS came about because they hate everything that we believe in and we stand for,” Santorum added. “I think the idea that we accept now that this tripe from the left that it’s our fault that ISIS exists—go back to the thousand-year history of Muslim expansionism, and look at some of the horrible things that were done to spread radical Islam. That is not something that America had anything to do with.”

And, if Santorum succeeds in securing the nomination, he may go head-to-head with a certain former colleague from the Senate.

“We’ve taken her on, on everything from moral and cultural issues on the floor of the United States Senate,” Santorum said of current front-runner Hillary Clinton, who represented New York in the upper chamber in the early 2000s. ABC News noted another rivalry the two have had in the past:

Santorum – who wrote “It Takes a Family,” a treatise on the ills of big government, in response to Clinton’s 1996 book, “It Takes a Village” – also touted his book’s success as an indicator of his ability to defeat Clinton.Critics are saying, “‘you know what, this breakdown of the family that Rick Santorum talked about 12 years ago is really one of the central issues in rebuilding America again,’” he told Stephanopoulos.
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