Santorum Lays Out His Political Future

Two months after he suspended his presidential campaign, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum on Friday laid out his future plans as he looks for ways to make sure his voice is heard and his influence is felt as a leader of the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

Santorum announced he was forming Patriot Voices, a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization he said would promote some of his key issues, including a commitment to family.

"One of the things that we found as we traveled around the country is that people came up to me a lot and said I was out there speaking about things that gave voice to their concerns and a lot of issues," Santorum said in an interview on Fox News. "People are concerned obviously about the economy, about national security. But I think a lot of people have a basic anxiety with where America is going, and I try to talk about those."

Santorum said issues like manufacturing and religious liberty were important to many Americans, but were being ignored by members of both parties.

Santorum has yet to appear with Romney on the campaign trail, though representatives for Santorum and Romney have held some discussions about Santorum hitting the road for the presumptive GOP nominee, one source with knowledge of the matter told CNN.

"I do think Santorum has a role to play on the campaign trail and that role is to bridge the differences between team Romney and social conservatives," said Ford O'Connell, who worked on the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008.

He stressed Santorum would boost the Republican ticket by campaigning in Iowa and in areas with a large concentration of blue collar workers, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.

"It does behoove Santorum to go out on the campaign trail because he is trying to run in either 2016 or run for another office down the road," O'Connell said.

Read more from Kevin Bohn and Kevin Liptak at CNN

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published this page in In The News 2012-06-08 10:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy