Santorum to launch presidential campaign June 6

Rick Santorum, the former two-term senator from Pennsylvania, was known during his tenure for being one of the more socially-conservative members of Congress. And while he's not as well-known as some of the other top conservative candidates, Santorum is certainly laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign: a Republican operative in New Hampshire says that the former senator has traveled to that state more than ten times. Still, Santorum faces a potentially uphill battle in a presidential bid: his 18-point loss in his reelection bid in 2006 has not been forgotten - and he may be too conservative for moderate voters in New Hampshire, Florida, and other key states. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is expected to launch his presidential campaign on June 6.

A source close to the campaign confirmed to Hotsheet  on Thursday that Santorum "will make an announcement on June 6 from southwestern PA." 

The outspoken social conservative has been making his intentions clear for more than a year, and has made frequent appearances in early-primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. He launched an exploratory committee earlier this month, and also participated in the first Republican presidential debate on May 5.

Next month, Santorum will likely formalize the announcement in southwestern Pennsylvania, near coal mines at which his grandfather once worked.

"This location is significant because when Sen. Santorum's grandfather left fascist Italy, he came to this country for America's freedom and the opportunity our nation afforded him," according to the source.

The former senator served two terms in the Senate before losing his 2006 reelection bid by 18 points. Since then, he has kept up his profile among conservatives by working as a Fox News contributor and regularly guest-hosting Bill Bennett's radio show.

Santorum is expected to focus his campaign in early voting states like Iowa and South Carolina, where social conservatives make up a sizeable portion of the GOP electorate - particularly in light of Mike Huckabee's decision not to enter the race.

In Iowa, 60 percent of Republican caucus-goers in 2008 identified as "born-again Christians."

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