Santorum suggests he's closer to deciding on presidential run

Former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) suggested Wednesday that he is leaning toward entering his party's potentially crowded presidential primary field. 

The senator, who lost his seat in 2006, said that he has been pulled "deeper and deeper in this process" as he has gone through the motions of exploring a run for the White House.

"As I've sort of traveled down this road, I feel like paths are opening up, doors are opening up, and it just sort of feels like I'm being pulled along and getting deeper and deeper involved in this process," he told the Patriot-News. "So we'll wait and see, but for now, I'm just trying to be open to doing what I think is in the best interests of our country."

Santorum has signaled over the past few months that he is interested in running for president, campaigning for candidates and traveling to early-primary states such as Iowa.

But Santorum, who focused on social issues during his Senate career, has not raised as much money as many other potential GOP presidential candidates, such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.).

The former senator appeared to be self-aware of his ambitions in the interview, acknowledging that his actions over the past few months have attracted attention.

"My original visit when certain things got rolling was to Iowa to give a talk, and I got the very clear impression that when you go to Iowa, people pay attention to what you have to say because they think, 'Hey, you might be running for president,' and so they have to pay attention to you," he said.

"So I've been going around and trying to add to the debate, and make sure the issues that I care about — national-security issues, moral, cultural issues, as well as the economic issues — are being discussed and debated, and that we have some clarity," he added.

h/t GOP 12