Rick Santorum apparently has made up his mind.
In an interview with the Washington Post published yesterday, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania made every indication that he would run for president again in 2016.
“We’re definitely the underdog in this race,” he told reporter Karen Tumulty. “We’re just obviously in a better place right now. Our message will be a lot more focused this time than it was last time.”
Santorum ran a surprisingly strong race in 2012 Republican primaries, acting as a conservative spoiler who briefly topped Mitt Romney in the polls. He won contests in 11 states.
He believes he’ll be a stronger candidate in the upcoming election season.
“I get the game,” he said.
He is aggressively opposing Obama’s executive action on immigration and has accumulated 150,000 activist-followers in an operation called Patriot Voices.
The next election season could be another long slog.
Last month, when Santorum said he would wait until 2015 to make a formal declaration, he acknowledged that the primary field could be large with as many as 18 contenders. “The idea that we’re going to somehow or another choose a candidate at the beginning of this process and have a coronation, that’s just not going to happen, nor should it,” he told Politico.
During his 2012 run, Santorum called climate change “a hoax"; blamed abortion for “causing Social Security and Medicare to be underfunded”; and accused President Obama of creating a “nightmare of dependency” that resulted in “almost half of America receiving some sort of government assistance.” According to Factcheck.org, Santorum’s figures included senior citizens who had paid into Social Security and Medicare.