Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum, a fiscal and social conservative and former two-term Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, kicked off his run for the presidency on Monday, June 6, on ABCNews’ “Good Morning America.” 

In his formal announcement speech later that day in Somerset, Pa., he took aim at one of his favorite targets – President Obama’s health care reform.

“Obamacare does something that no other entitlement has ever done and that is it obviously makes you buy something, but more importantly it’s the government for the first time is going to have its clutches to create dependency on every single American,” he said. “Not those on the margins of life, not those who are old or sick, but every single American now will be hooked to the government with an IV. And they will come to you every time they want to do more and say, well you want that IV, you want that health care, then you got to give us more power.”

A GMA viewer asked Santorum “why, after being rejected by the people of Pennsylvania 59%-41% in his last Senate race, he thinks Americans would want him as their president.”

“I didn’t back down on trying to reform the social security system,” Santorum told George Stephanopoulos. “I did some things that were very unpopular but if you look back at what I did and when I did it people can say ‘You know what, he may have lost but he didn’t flinch, he stood by what he believed in and continued to fight to the end.’”

Santorum has been the most vocal -- and perhaps the most controversial -- on the socially conservative issues he is most passionate about: abortion and homosexuality. During debates about late-term abortion, he brought in large posters of fetuses on the Senate floor using graphic language to describe why he believed the procedure should be outlawed.

Santorum, 53, and his wife Karen have seven children.

 

Profile Details

  • Birthplace: Winchester, Va.
  • Family: Karen Garver Santorum (wife); Children: Elizabeth, Richard, Daniel, Sarah, Peter, Patrick, and Isabella
  • Religion: Roman Catholic.
  • Job before candidacy: Attorney,
  • Political experience: Has never run for presidency, served two terms in U.S. Senate.
  • Most recent book written: "It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good" (2006)
Pros: Two terms in Senate, fiscal and social conservative.
Cons: Lost Senate seat by 17%, too conservative for general election.

More on Rick Santorum: He's hoping to surprise the field with a Mike Huckabee-style win in Iowa.


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