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Rick Santorum Learns What Third Place in Iowa Is Like Rick Santorum Learns What Third Place in Iowa Is Like

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CAMPAIGN 2012

Rick Santorum Learns What Third Place in Iowa Is Like

Candidate gets attacked by rivals, grilled on cable TV.

Rick Santorum got a taste on Thursday of what it’s like to be one of the front-runners in Iowa: Two GOP rival campaigns criticized him, and a TV talk show host hounded him.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry released an ad on Thursday targeting Santorum and the other three current and former members of Congress in the GOP field, comparing them to foxes guarding the henhouse. Perry’s team also dug up a 2009 quote in which Santorum said he was proud of his record of requesting earmarks and pledged to defend the practice. Perry called earmarks “the gateway drug to the spending habit they have in Washington, D.C.”

 

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney’s communications director told Fox News that while Romney spent his time in the private sector, Santorum spent his in Washington.

Santorum said in response he did request earmarks while representing Pennsylvania in the Senate and House, but that he was looking out for his district and state. “We weren't going to leave it to bureaucrats to make those decisions in Washington, D.C. or in some remote place, in what was in the best interest of Pennsylvania,” he said on CNN. 

As for the Romney aide’s remark, Santorum added: “I've spent my time in the public and private sector. I was fortunate enough -- the people of Pennsylvania and a heavily Democratic district and heavily Democratic state elected me at the young age of 32 to the House.”

 

Appearing on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report, Santorum was berated by host Larry Kudlow for singling out manufacturers for preferential treatment in his economic plan, saying the federal government has no business picking “winners and losers.”

“I just disagree with you,” Santorum said. “I think that this is a matter of competition and survival. This is a national security issue to have a manufacturing base in this country so we're not relying upon other countries for basic things.”

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