Santorum fuels 2016 speculation with Iowa visit

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The former Pennsylvania senator will deliver the keynote at the 13th annual Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Kick Off on April 15.

Santorum, the runner-up to Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican primaries, will focus on "the future of the Republican Party and what must be done to ensure our party's future viability," according to Patriot Voices, Santorum's political action committee. 

Santorum will also discuss "economic and social priorities" in the speech.

He narrowly won the 2012 Iowa caucuses, edging Romney by 34 votes in a recount after the initial results gave the former Massachusetts governor a razor-thin eight-vote win.  

Santorum, who built a strong base among Iowa social conservatives, has not closed the door to the possibility he will run again for the GOP nomination. He told Fox News last year that "I feel like a young man, and hopefully I feel like a young man four years from now."


Several other potential 2016 Republican candidates have already begun making pilgrimages to Iowa. 


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will keynote the Iowa Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day Dinner on May 10 in Cedar Rapids. The event is a regular stopping point for potential presidential aspirants who have an eye on Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses.

And Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) keynoted a birthday fundraising dinner for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) late last year. 

Santorum last month finished third behind Paul and Rubio in the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll of prospective 2016 Republican candidates.