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Santorum on tour: Backs vaccinations, opposes Common Core

Rick Santorum supports vaccinations
Rick Santorum supports vaccinations

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    Rick Santorum supports vaccinations

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Rick Santorum supports vaccinations 00:44

New York (CNN)Rick Santorum is not forgotten, at least not in the small neighborhood of Bayside, Queens, just outside of Manhattan.

Promoting their new book, "Bella's Gift," both Santorum and his wife, Karen, gracefully worked the sizable crowd with ease, calm and authenticity on Tuesday night. By revealing the challenges and blessings of raising a child with special needs, the Santorums' served as inspiration for families who share similar experiences.
Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum poses at a book tour signing at the Bayside Queens Barnes and Noble in New York City.
During the book signing, family after family approached their table with personal anecdotes of both success and struggle, finding a relatable voice. If there was one big takeaway from this event, it was how well the one-time presidential candidate connected with this audience.
    Santorum, who is mulling a 2016 presidential run, assured me the release of this book was not calculated or political. But even fictional presidential candidates like Veep's Selina Meyer promote books before an election, so we'll see if this "book tour" is a precursor to a larger 2016 agenda.
    Woefully underfunded on his 2012 campaign, I asked the former Pennsylvania senator what he learned from his last presidential run, to which he laughingly replied, "We'd raise a lot more money!"
    While not directly giving an answer on a 2016 bid, Santorum did say "this time" will be different.
    "I've done it once before ... you just learn a lot, you get to be a better candidate," he said.

    Rick Santorum makes it to Queens

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    But when it got down to questions on the issues, his wife, a former NICU nurse, was very passionate on the issue of vaccinations, which recently cropped up on the pseudo-campaign trail. Potential Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie and Rand Paul advocated for parental choice when it comes to vaccinations, though Christie later clarified to say that there is "no question kids should be vaccinated."
    "My dear, dear beloved father was a pediatrician when kids were becoming paralyzed from polio and dying from mumps and measles, so all I can say is all of our children, including Bella, are vaccinated," Karen Santorum said.
    Rick Santorum added, "We believe in it, we know obviously there are risks, there are always risks with any medical procedure, but the overwhelming benefit for society and for children is to get those vaccines."
    Rick Santorum opposes Common Core
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      Rick Santorum opposes Common Core

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    Rick Santorum opposes Common Core 00:30
    When asked about another issue driving conversation among 2016 hopefuls, Common Core, Santorum made clear in 2012 he opposed federal government in education, and his position still stands.
    "I learned my lesson from 'No Child Left Behind,' so when Common Core came around it was easy, I said, 'no,'" Santorum said.
    He was also sure the method would never work.
    "It's just not the transformative revolution that we need in education to really empower teachers and parents. That's going to come from the bottom up, not the top down," he added.