Richard John “Rick” Santorum (born May 10, 1958) is an American attorney and Republican Party politician. He served as a United States Senator representing Pennsylvania (1995–2007) and was the Senate’s third-ranking Republican (2001–07). He ran as a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination, finishing second to the eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Born in Virginia, Santorum was raised primarily in Butler, Pennsylvania. He obtained an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University, an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, and a J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law (now part of Penn State).
Santorum was elected as a United States Senator for Pennsylvania in 1994. He served two terms until losing his re-election bid in 2006. A devout, practicing Catholic, Santorum is a social conservative who opposes same-sex marriage and artificial birth control. While serving as a senator, Santorum was the author of what came to be known as the Santorum Amendment, which promoted the teaching of intelligent design. In 2005, Santorum introduced the Workplace Religious Freedom Act along with Senator John Kerry.
In the years following his departure from the Senate, Santorum worked as a consultant, private-practice lawyer, and news contributor. On June 6, 2011, Santorum announced his run for the Republican nomination in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Upon announcing his campaign suspension on April 10, 2012, he had won 11 primaries and caucuses and received nearly 4 million votes, making him the runner-up to eventual nominee Mitt Romney. Santorum officially endorsed Romney on May 7, 2012. Santorum announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on May 27, 2015.Early life and education
Blue Collar Conservatives departs from traditional Republican orthodoxy and says that the Republican Party must to appeal to blue collar Americans. He says, “As many as six million blue collar voters stayed home from the polls, and there’s good reason to believe that a large majority of them would have voted Republican if they had voted.” Santorum puts forward a recipe for Republican success in which Republicans advocate for workers and not just corporations. He says that many middle class workers who have been forced into part-time jobs at big box stores or even into public assistance programs are amenable to the GOP’s message if it is presented in relatable terms. He tackles education, saying the current system of government-run schools is a “relic of the late 19th century” and that children should not be pressured into going to college where a job or vocational training would be a better option. He critiques libertarian influence in the Republican Party, saying, “There are some in my party who have taken the ideal of individualism to such an extreme that they have forgotten the obligation to look out for our fellow man.” He says the GOP should be less quick to dismiss concerns over decreasing social and economic mobility, saying that large businesses and stocks are strong, while life has become “a trickle” for workers. He questions rich compensation of business executives, and says that while he supports free trade, Republicans need to look at its impact on the average person and whether existing laws are fair. In January 2015, Santorum announced Bella's Gift: How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation, a book about his daughter Bella, who lives with a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 18. The book is authored by Santorum and his wife, Karen Santorum, and co-authored by their daughter, Elizabeth Santorum. It was released February 10, 2015.