Former Senator Rick Santorum, a Republican from Pennsylvania, is delivering two speeches in Iowa today, but the Republican says he’s far from declaring himself a candidate for the G.O.P.’s 2012 presidential nomination. However, Santorum says he’s been prompted to think more seriously about a run for the White House because of the attention today’s visit has gotten since he did an interview about it in August.
“If you Googled ‘Santorum in Iowa’ before I did that Politico interview, there were 350…entries that would come up on the search. I Googled it this morning. You know how many came up? Guess….1,360,000 entries!” Santorum said this morning during an interview with Radio Iowa. “That surprised me, you know, I mean, when I see that…it makes you step back and think when I actually wasn’t thinking about it.”
Santorum will deliver a speech in Dubuque tonight that’s titled: “Jumpstarting America’s Economy.” He’s spending his midday with members of the Iowa Right-to-Life Committee where he is well-known as a crusader against abortion. Santorum says that’s one reason why tonight’s speech isn’t about social issues, but about the economy and about the looming threats on the international stage.
“You know I think it’s important to be a voice, to not just be a ‘Johnny One Note’ but to talk about all the issues and demonstrate…I don’t come lately to this. This is all stuff that I’ve worked on, but because, as you know, the mainstream media tends to love to pidgeonhole me, they’ve tried to do that with me,” Santorum said during his Radio Iowa interview. “And I think if you go back and look at the record, it’s a very different story.”
As part of his preparation for today’s visit, Santorum said he went online to watch the “YouTube” videos from some of Senator Chuck Grassley’s August “town hall” meetings.
“You know, part of what I’m here to do is to validate the concern, the angst that voters here have and other voters around the country have about the direction of our country,” Santorum says.