Rick Santorum: ‘I’m Open’ to 2016 Bid

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Rick Santorum (Photo Credit: Michael Humphrey/CNN)

By Ashley Killough, CNN

(CNN) — Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum hinted Monday he may see another presidential run in his future.

“I’m open to that possibility,” the Republican said when asked on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” about a 2016 White House bid.

“But we’re a long way…” he added, pausing, then continuing, “I’m focused right now on trying to stay involved in the fray and make sure that we do the right thing up on Capitol Hill right now.”

Santorum proved a tough opponent to Mitt Romney during the Republican presidential primary, ultimately forcing the contest to run as late as April when Santorum dropped his bid and paved the way for Romney to clinch the nomination.

Since then, the social conservative launched a nonprofit group, “Patriot Voices,” which advocates conservative causes and backs conservative candidates. The former senator also has maintained an active role as a political commentator and was an occasional surrogate for Romney during the campaign.

Santorum said Monday he was also focused on the Republican Party’s inner debate about its future, adding that he wants to make sure “that we’re going to be very active and engaged and stick to America’s founding principles.”

The former senator first told The Weekly Standard on Monday that he was “open” to another run.

His comments come one day after another 2012 Republican presidential hopeful said he hasn’t ruled out a possible bid. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday he has “no idea at this stage” whether he’ll make another attempt at the Oval Office.