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Santorum: Lack Of Interest In My Candidacy Because I've Been Out Of Spotlight

"I wasn't somebody who had a lot of money and could just go out and run for president for the last four years."

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The 2016 Republican primary race so far has not gone as Rick Santorum might have hoped.

After finishing to second to Mitt Romney in 2012, the former senator from Pennsylvania has been lagging in the polls this time around -- finding himself relegated to the so-called "kids table" debate last week with the rest of the second tier candidates who didn't make the cut for the primetime event.

Why isn't Santorum doing better in the polls, like previous Republican presidential runner-ups have done in the past? He says he thinks he knows why: he had to work for a living after the last election.

"There's a lot that goes into how you position yourself," Santorum said on the Girard at Large radio program when asked why he was in such poor shape.

"The fact of the matter is, unlike some of the other candidates I was not in elected office. So I was not there in the national media. I didn't have a TV show. I wasn't somebody who had a lot of money and could just go out and run for president for the last four years. Karen and I have seven kids. We've got three in college and, you know, we had to go out and go back to work."

Though Santorum wasn't in the spotlight as much other candidates running (likeTed Cruz or Rand Paul), he did release two books, Blue Collar Conservatives and Bella's Gift. Santorum said he knew this race would be an uphill battle because he had been out of the public eye.

"For the last three years I've actually been earning a living. I was running a movie company for a while and involved with a technology company for a while," said Santorum. "So I've been working and when the time came around to thinking about running again, we knew we were going to be starting from scratch again because we had been out of the public eye for a while."

"I think that's a good piece of experience to bring to the table," he concluded.

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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

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