Santorum not interested in White House chief of staff role

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said late Tuesday that he would decline if President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE asked him to serve as the next White House chief of staff. 

"Look, it's an honor even to be considered," the Pennsylvania Republican said during an appearance on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront." 

"I think it's a great job, and I know that there are a lot of good people out there. The bottom line for me is — just really like Nick Ayers, I mean, my family situation really doesn't allow me to do that right now,” he continued.

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"I would, again, be honored to do it at some point in time maybe, but at this point it just doesn't, it just doesn't fit for me and my family and so, you know, I guess the answer right now would be no," he added.

According to a report published by The Washington Post on Tuesday, Santorum’s name was mentioned among a number of others that sources claim Trump has been considering for the role. 

Trump aides also reportedly floated the former senator’s name as a possible contender after he was spotted with Trump at the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia on Saturday. “They noted Santorum's political skills and populist conservative ideology could make him a contender,” according to the Post. 

Santorum said over the weekend that Trump's next chief of staff should be someone with more of a political background than John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE — who served for roughly 17 months in the position — had.

"I think the lockdown tough general that Trump respects ... didn't work in controlling Trump," Santorum, who is also 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."

Kelly, a former Marine Corps general, joined the Trump administration in January 2017 as secretary of Homeland Security before transitioning to the chief of staff role in the summer of 2017.

He served as the president’s second chief of staff, after Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusTrump blasts Scaramucci as 'incapable' Trump taps Sean Spicer to join Naval Academy board of visitors Trump's no racist — he's an equal opportunity offender MORE.