Rick Santorum takes formal step in 2012 White House bid

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 13, 2011 11:27 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum will set up an exploratory committee in pursuit of the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, he said on Wednesday.

Santorum, once a top Senate Republican leader, said he was prepared to take the formal step toward running for president, traveling the country and measuring support for a potential campaign.

"Now really the test for me is whether we can raise the money that's necessary, so I'm going to set up a committee," he said on the Fox News Channel. "We're going to determine over the next few weeks as to whether the resources are going to be there to do it."

Santorum, who was defeated in his 2006 Senate re-election bid, is the third potential Republican candidate to form an exploratory committee, following former Governors Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. Democratic President Barack Obama has announced he will seek re-election.

(Reporting by JoAnne Allen; Editing by Peter Cooney)