Rick Santorum Hospitalized With Gastrointestinal Illness, Misses Iowa Trip

Rick Santorum Hospitalized With Gastrointestinal Illness

Rick Santorum was hospitalized this weekend with dehydration and a gastrointestinal illness, forcing the former Pennsylvania Senator and Republican presidential candidate to miss a planned trip to Iowa.

Santorum was schedule to give the keynote address at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Annual Spring Kickoff on Monday. A program for the event noted that Santorum planned to talk about ways the Republican Party can focus on social and economic issues in the future.

Santorum’s illness also caused him to miss a a luncheon for the John Paul II Medical Research Institute on ethical issues in biomedical research.

“While traveling in South Carolina on Saturday, Rick Santorum became ill and was admitted to the hospital for a gastro-intestinal illness and dehydration,” Virginia Davis, a spokesperson for Santorum’s political action committee Patriot Voices, said in a statement. “He is feeling better today but remains in the hospital … He is expected to resume a full schedule later this week and looks forward to returning to Iowa soon.”

Briefly a front-runner as the 2012 Republican primaries neared, Santorum lost out on the nomination when the party rallied around Mitt Romney. But he still holds an important place in Republican circles.

The trip to Iowa raised speculation that Santorum could be looking at another presidential run in 2016. The election cycle is growing longer and longer, so trips to the crucial early voting state of Iowa can never come too early.

Santorum has performed well there before, winning the Iowa caucus in January 2012.

When asked about his intentions for 2016, Santorum has remained noncommittal, however.

“I’m certainly leaving the door open for that,” Santorum told Newsmax earlier this month. “I’m making no commitments at this point, but we’re not doing anything inconsistent with running in 2016.”

Santorum has focused much attention on Iowa lately, including an interview with the Des Moines Register in which he said acceptance of gay marriage would be “suicidal.”

“I think you’ll see, hopefully, a chastened Supreme Court is not going to make the same mistake in the (current) cases as they did in Roe v. Wade,” Santorum said, adding, “I’m hopeful the Supreme Court learned its lesson about trying to predict where the American public is going on issues and trying to find rights in the Constitution that sit with the fancy of the day.”

While Rick Santorum’s trip to the hospital kept him out of Iowa this time, if he’s serious about running in 2016 he’ll likely have many more visits to the Hawkeye State.