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Why Today's NYT Story Should Worry Santorum Why Today's NYT Story Should Worry Santorum

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Why Today's NYT Story Should Worry Santorum

January 6, 2012
The New York Times has a good piece out today detailing how Rick Santorum cashed out on K Street after serving 15 years on Capitol Hill. It's a story not unlike Newt Gingrich's, albeit smaller in scale, and it could cause him similar problems on the campaign trail. 

The Times reports

In 2006, Mr. Santorum led all federal candidates in contributions from lobbyists and their family members, taking in roughly $500,000, nearly 40 percent more than the next closest candidate, Senator George Allen, a Virginia Republican, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That tightknit relationship could make it difficult for him to appeal to Tea Party members and other voters yearning for a candidate free of inside-the-Beltway taint.

It's an argument similar to the one I made about Gingrich's post-congressional, multi-million dollar consulting career. And it's a point that didn't get much traction until the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future starting running a barrage of negative ads highlighting Gingrich's Washington baggage. 

If Santorum makes a strong enough showing in New Hampshire to continue to South Carolina,   it's likely his cozy, and lucrative, inside-Washington relationships will get more scrutiny. And if he doesn't want to end up like Gingrich, he better be ready with a strong counter-punch. 

Because, as one GOP consultant put it, "The number one rule of politics is that you always respond and Newt didn't and ... he got his butt kicked."
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