Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE's next chief of staff should be someone with more of a political background than John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE had in his roughly 17 months in the role.

"I think the lockdown tough general that Trump respects didn't work, didn't work in controlling Trump," Santorum, a political analyst for CNN, said on "State of the Union."

"I like the idea of someone who is a politician, someone who is respected by the president for his political instincts," he continued. "Because that, to me, is sort of the secret sauce of how you get the president to focus more on his agenda and the things many of us have been telling him to focus on."

ADVERTISEMENT

Santorum made a point to say he is not interested in being Trump's chief of staff.

The former senator suggested that Nick Ayers, who is currently Vice President Pence's staff and considered a front-runner to replace Kelly, is someone who would have the necessary background to push through Trump's agenda.

Trump announced as he left on Saturday for the Army-Navy football game that Kelly would depart as chief of staff by the end of the year. The announcement followed months of reporting that detailed an acrimonious relationship between the two men and predicted Kelly's ouster was imminent.

Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, joined the Trump administration in January 2017 as secretary of Homeland Security, and moved over to chief of staff in the summer of 2017. He was Trump's second chief of staff, after Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusPoliticon announces lineup including Comey, Hannity, Priebus Sunday shows - White House stresses Trump's determination in China trade fight as GOP challenger emerges Priebus: Left's 'wacko ideas' are opportunity for Republicans in 2020 MORE.