CABOT, Pa., May 27 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., on Wednesday announced he is joining the ever-growing field of Republicans running for president in 2016.
At a live event at Penn United Technologies in Cabot, the social conservative said he wants to "take back America."
"Working families don't need another president tied to big government or big money and today is the day we are going to begin to fight back," he said flanked by his wife and children. "I am proud to stand here among you and for you, the American workers, who have sacrificed so much to announce I am running for president of the United States."
Santorum, 57, appeals primarily to social conservatives -- as he did during his 2012 presidential bid -- but plans to widen his message to include what he calls "blue-collar conservatism."
A video announcing his candidacy before his speech Wednesday highlighted blue-collar workers and he spoke of his Italian grandfather traveling to the United States to work in coal mines.
Santorum said he wants the United States to become the world leader in manufacturing. He intends to do so by scrapping "the corrupt federal tax code and the IRS that goes with it."
"It's time to give America a simple fair flat tax" to create millions of jobs and increase take home pay, he said.
Santorum also called for an end to common core, a revamping of the VA, the defeat of the Islamic State and showed support for religious freedom laws.