Santorum: Palin's star power a 'challenge'

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) hinted he's waiting on Sarah Palin before deciding whether to announce a run for president.

"If she decides to get into the race, she will take a lot of air out of the room, that's for sure," Santorum said Monday during a swing through South Carolina.  

He called the former Alaska governor a "larger-than-life figure," but said that could cause her problems when campaigning in small, early primary states such as South Carolina and Iowa.

"She is such a media star, I would think it's hard for her to have normal interactions" with voters, he said. "I have my own challenges and that's getting the crowd. Her problem isn't getting the crowd, it's sort of having more real time with people. I get plenty of real time and that lower profile works for me in a way that I can go do things that are just going to be harder for her."

Santorum added, "It's not that she can't do it, everybody has their own challenges."

Should Santorum and Palin both decide to run for the GOP 2012 presidential nomination, they would likely be courting the same conservative primary voters.

In the mean time, Santorum continues to travel widely.

"I'm getting here. I'm getting feelers on whether people think that what I'm saying, what I'm thinking, what I'm doing and what I've done is something they could get behind and be supportive of," he told The Associated Press in Charleston during his seventh trip to the state.

He's not confining himself to early primary states. Santorum will be at an educational conference in St. Louis in January hosted by the Constitutional Coalition.

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