Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) reportedly told Catholic leaders Friday night he was "thinking about" a bid for the presidency in 2012.

During his address to the Catholic Leadership Conference in Orlando, Santorum also asked the invite-only crowd for their prayers in helping him decide whether to pursue a candidacy.

"Six months ago I would not have spent ten seconds on your question, but it's not six months ago," Santorum said. "I see that, I hate to be calculating, but I see that 2012 is not just throwing somebody out to be eaten, but it's a real opportunity for success."

Pundits had once tossed Santorum's name around as a possible White House contender in 2008, but his 18-point defeat to Sen. Bob Casey (R-Pa.) in 2006 all but sealed his political fate. Nevertheless, the former senator has scheduled a number of trips to Iowa recently, perhaps indicating he is serious about a bid.