Rick Santorum in Albany To Address Conservative Group

ALBANY (AP) -
Former Senator Rick Santorum tours the Assembly Chamber in Albany on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Former Senator Rick Santorum tours the Assembly Chamber in Albany on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Former and possibly future presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Tuesday that the field of Republican contenders for the White House in 2016 shows a party with diverse viewpoints and different ideas that’s ready to offer an alternative to the Democratic Party.

Santorum, who won the most primaries in 2012 behind eventual nominee Mitt Romney, said he still is weighing whether or not to run. The former senator from Pennsylvania visited the New York state Capitol on Tuesday to address a conservative gathering.

“I encourage lots of voices to come out,” he told reporters. “The Democratic Party in recent times has been sort of monolithic. The Republican Party has real diversity and really different ideas.

Weighing in on New York politics, Santorum criticized Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent decision to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas — which he said has been an economic boon in Pennsylvania. He said there’s room in New York for Republicans who offer a different perspective than Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“The governor, the mayor have their agendas … hard-left agendas,” he said. “You’re seeing the consequences.”

Speaking at the New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation event at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Santorum urged the audience not to give up on conservative ideals “behind enemy lines” in heavily Democratic New York state.

“The time is now, the front is here and the soldiers are you,” he said.