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Santorum enters 2016 White House race

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 01:37

Saying, ''Today is the day we are going to begin to fight back,'' Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum enters 2016 White House race. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Christian conservative, makes another run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 after a failed attempt in 2012. Santorum, a senator from 1995 to 2007, made the announcement near his childhood home in Cabot, Pennsylvania, saying, "Today is the day we are going to begin to fight back," he announced his White House bid. In the 2012 Republican race, Santorum won Iowa's kickoff contest and a string of later primaries with strong support from voters drawn to his social and religious conservatism and wary of the more business-oriented Mitt Romney. He said in the last debate "we changed the debate," adding, "this race, with your help and God's grace, we can change this nation." Santorum, whose support has languished in the low single digits in most polls ahead of the 2016 race, faces a stronger and potentially larger field of Republican hopefuls this time. He is the seventh Republican to formally declare a bid for the nomination, joining a group that includes U.S. senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Other candidates expected to jump in the race in the coming months include former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Santorum will face competition for Christian conservative voters, who helped propel his 2012 bid, from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and others, while his low poll ratings raise the possibility that he could be excluded from the early Republican debates, which begin in August. A Catholic, Santorum won a reputation as a strong social conservative in Congress, where he opposed same-sex marriage and the teaching of evolution in schools. He infuriated the gay community by comparing homosexuality to bestiality. He dropped out of the 2012 race after his daughter, who was born with a rare medical condition, was hospitalized. But he continued to make television appearances and speak to conservative audiences, fueling speculation about another presidential run. Santorum has sought to distance himself from Jeb Bush, the brother and son of former presidents who is viewed as a Republican establishment favorite, by criticizing the former governor's education policies.

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Santorum enters 2016 White House race

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 01:37