Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, once the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, said Monday he's seeking the GOP nomination for president, vowing he's "in it to win it."
Santorum, a favorite among his party's social conservatives, chose to confirm his plans during an appearance Monday morning on ABC's "Good Morning America" at the banner-draped site he chose in the western Pennsylvania coalfields for his formal announcement.
He has enjoyed strong support in the past from the anti-abortion rights bloc in the Republican Party, and he enters the race four days after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney formally declared his candidacy. Speculation remains strong that former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann will jump into the race along with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Sen. Tim Pawlenty and businessman Herman Cain and, who already are in. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and entrepreneur-entertainer Donald Trump have said they're not running.
In the network interview, Santorum accused President Barack Obama of having a weak foreign policy, saying he doesn't feel he has stood up sufficiently to Iran and asserting he has done too little to speak out against Syrian President Bashir Assad for the violence there.
Santorum, whose immigrant grandfather worked in the Pennsylvania coalfields, has already hired a small staff and has made frequent visits to early voting states New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina.