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Rick Santorum not sure if he'll make 2nd bid for president

During a stop in Chicago on Wednesday while hawking his new book, staunch conservative Rick Santorum said he isn’t sure if he’s going to run again for president.

And when asked if he could get behind GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, who isn’t taking strong stances on social issues, Santorum said he wasn’t familiar enough with the details to comment.

Speaking at an event hosted by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, Santorum, who has seven children, said his family life will weigh heavily on whether or not he makes another presidential bid.

“It takes a toll. I have four kids at home, and it’s a sacrifice for them,” he said.

Santorum, 55, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, finished second behind Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the 2012 GOP primary. His new book is “Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works.”

He said that if he does run he would have to overcome pundits who claim his successes have been “a fluke.”

“Everyone underestimated me,” he said. “The disadvantage is nobody’s talking about you, nobody’s saying you’re going to win the nomination, so the people it hurts with is . . . the donor class who actually listen to what these idiots in Washington say [about] who is going be the next president.

“They don’t know any more than you do, but they get paid, so people listen to them,” he said, referring to pundits.

Santorum, a devout Catholic, also addressed his stance on gay marriage during a question and answer session with students.

“I think marriage is a unique institution that has a unique benefit to society and that is bringing men and women together in a way that encourages that union to have and raise children,” Santorum said.

“It’s not that I’m against other relationships, but those relationships just can’t do what this relationship can . . . It has a unique benefit to society that no other relationship does,” he said. “I’ve had gay people on my staff, in fact, when I left the Senate I had two gay people on my staff.”

When asked about his stance on employment protection regarding gays, Santorum said: “I believe in people’s right to hire and fire people as they see fit.”

But, he noted, “that doesn’t mean that I’d approve.”