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Earmarks Prove Tricky Subject for Santorum Earmarks Prove Tricky Subject for Santorum

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Earmarks Prove Tricky Subject for Santorum

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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, responds to a point made by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum during a Republican presidential debate Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, in Mesa, Ariz.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)(Jae C. Hong/AP)

Wednesday's GOP presidential debate was among the most important two hours in Rick Santorum's presidential campaign. So it probably wasn't a boon to his campaign that he spent a lot of it defending one Congress's most unpopular practices: earmarks. 
The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, who spent 16 years in Washington in House and Senate, offered a wonky argument explaining why he supported earmarks. Rather than blast them as an example of government excess, Santorum said they was a necessary check on a president's power, he said. 

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