ROBERT COSTA:: Santorum’s Next Step – NRO

By at June 12, 2012 | 12:48 am | Print

ROBERT COSTA:: Santorum’s Next Step – NRO

By Robert Costa –

In most respects, Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign ended at midnight on March 6 in a high-school cafeteria in Steubenville, Ohio. Fox News called the Buckeye State for Mitt Romney, effectively ending the Pennsylvanian’s long-shot bid. He stayed in the race for another month, but that Rust Belt defeat, in a state a short car ride from his Pittsburgh roots, was devastating. Three months later, Santorum has ceded the stage to Romney, but his interest in national politics remains as strong as it was on that spring night.

On Friday, Santorum made one of his first major public speeches since leaving the trail, appearing at the Conservative Political Action Conference’s Chicago convention. “This is the most important election maybe in the history of the country,” he told the crowd, which gave him a standing ovation. “The fact that I’m not in it any more doesn’t change that.” As expected, his remarks focused upon the broad themes of his campaign: family values, freedom, and faith. He railed against the “elites” and talked up American manufacturing.

But woven within the usual rhetoric was a news nugget: Santorum has launched a new group, “Patriot Voices,” to rally his conservative supporters behind his favorite congressional candidates, his policy ideas, and, when necessary, behind Romney. Upon hearing the news, an MSNBC panel dubbed the organization the “Save Santorum Fund” — a wink to his potential political comeback in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, should Romney lose in November.

via Santorum’s Next Step – By Robert Costa – The Corner – National Review Online.

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