Rick Santorum -- who's so far off the list of top 2012 presidential candidates that even Rasmussen isn't polling him -- appears to be making a bid for the Tea Party mantle. From Politco's Dan Hirshhorn:
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum says none of the GOP presidential hopefuls can truly be called tea party candidates — but he and Gary Johnson come close.
"There isn't a single candidate running for president who can claim to be a tea party candidate," Santorum told POLITICO Wednesday. "That's by definition. The people involved in the movement weren't involved in politics, and were only activated by what they saw in Washington."
But Santorum said he and Johnson, the former New Mexico governor, can lay some claim to the tea party mantle as people who left politics and are only eyeing comebacks because of the same concerns that dominate the movement.
"I qualify," said Santorum, after hosting an afternoon talk with former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf near the Capitol. "I was out, content to be out, but now I feel compelled to come back."