The Life of an American Patriot
Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:04
Rick Santorum, former U.S. Senator and candidate for president of the United States, first became active in politics in 1976 when he joined the College Republicans as a student at Penn State University.
Santorum encourages students to run for class officer and help make their school better.
“I first got active in politics when I joined the College Republicans when I was a student at Penn State,” Santorum said. “I found that I really enjoyed working on issues I cared about and explaining to my friends and fellow students why a particular matter needed attention.”
Santorum said the time spent in the College Republicans was not the only experience that made him want to get involved in politics.
“I also had the terrific experience of working for state Senator Doyle Corman in the legislature in Harrisburg,” Santorum said. “He was a great role model in showing me what it meant to stand up for your principles and how to work with others to find common ground to get things done.”
After graduating from Penn State, attending law school and starting work in Pittsburgh, Santorum decided to pursue a career in politics by running for the United States Congress.
“I knocked on 25,000 doors and met face to face with folks to tell them why I wanted to be their congressman and what I would do if elected,” Santorum said. “That kind of retail politics worked then, and I wish we saw more of it now.”
Santorum said politics can teach so many things, from the most basic skills to how to be a critical thinker.
“You learn how to work with others with whom you disagree, and you learn how to manage your time to meet all your obligations,” Santorum said. “You learn what is really important in life, and it reaffirmed to me that we live in the greatest country in the world.”
Santorum said it was tough losing his 2006 senate race, but realized it was the best outcome he could have hoped for.
“Leaving elected office at that time helped me put my priorities in order and gave me the opportunity to reset my focus on what issues I wanted to spend my time advocating for,” Santorum said.
Santorum reset his focus on a bid to be the next president of the United States in the 2012 election.
Eddy Atallah, Students for Santorum state chair, said he supported Santorum’s run for president.
“I supported Rick Santorum in 2012 for many different reasons,” Atallah said. “His strong family values and patriotism for one, but most importantly his determination to put the constitution first and allowing people to have a voice rather than a centered government imposing their views onto you.”
Santorum said he loved having his family join him on the campaign trail in 2012 and wants them to find a job they like even if it is not in politics.
“I want my children to do what makes them happy and fulfilled,” Santorum said. “There is something really special when you can work side by side with your children as they grow up, to get their perspective on issues and just enjoy their company along the way.”
Santorum said he is leaving the door open for another presidential run in 2016.
“I’m not making any commitments at this point, but we’re not doing anything inconsistent with running in 2016,” Santorum said.
Atallah said he would support Santorum again in 2016.
“I really would be honored to support such a great person if Santorum decides to run again in 2016,” Atallah said. “America is in need of a principled conservative like Santorum in order to get back on the right track to prosperity.”
Santorum said the most important issue that affects the country today is making the American dream attainable again.
“So many in this country feel that the American dream is just out of reach for them, and I believe we must start putting in policies to change that,” Santorum said. “Our government must recognize this and help create a positive pro-family environment for our families, our communities and our businesses.”
Atallah said Santorum’s confidence with the right balance of humility is what makes people resonate with him so well.