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No major candidate has publicly announced his or her decision to seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. However, there are plenty of folks that have been hinting at a possible run, so many in fact that it has turned into a series of articles just to discuss the options. In part one, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich were all featured. In the second part, we focused on Gov. Haley Barbour, Gov. Mitch Daniels, and Jon Huntsman. Article three was about Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Donald Trump. Here are some more possibilities.
Former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum is almost certainly going to run for the GOP nomination. Since 2009, he has made 32 visits to the three states that hold the first votes during the primary–Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Santorum has also been busy criticizing the president and possible other contenders, such as Mitt Romney. The former Senator was suspended from his gig at Fox News, along with Gingrich, because the brass there feel he is going to make a run at challenging President Obama. Santorum is a social conservative, loudly outspoken on his anti-abortion and anti-gay stance. He sparked controversy in 2003 when he told an interviewer that he had “a problem with homosexual acts” and seemed to compare homosexuality to incest and polygamy. But, compared with the other possible contenders, it is unlikely that Santorum has much chance. He is not as boring as Tim Pawlenty but he does not have the star power of Palin or Donald Trump either.
Rep. Ron Paul from Texas is a fan favorite, but has never been taken seriously from the Republican leadership. Paul made a bid during 2008 and the libertarian leaning congressman was all but laughed out of the race by the other contenders and the media. But, Paul began the real Tea Party—not the one being orchestrated by the Koch brothers. Paul also won the straw poll during the Conservative Political Action Conference this year. Paul is raising tons of cash. His Liberty PAC raised $1.1 million just in the last month. Rep. Paul may not be taken seriously by the establishment but he has a huge fan base and it is way too early to count this dark horse out yet.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani also might just take a stab at the GOP nomination again. He holds the record for using Sept. 11th for his own personal gain the most often and is looking to beat his own record. According to Republicans close to him, the former mayor is seriously considering another try at the highest office. Giuliani made a trip up to New Hampshire mid-March but denied that it was “a presidential consideration fact-finding mission.” He said he has no timetable to make up his mind. So, in the meantime, we will all wonder if Rudy will say 9/11 over and over if again involved in the debates, or will we have to find a different drinking game?
Stay tuned, there are still more. The unknowns, the dark horses, the surprises…