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Santorum touts his true conservatism, but there are some blemishes from his days in Congress

January 6, 2012
Associated Press

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum nearly won Iowa’s caucuses with a message of fiscal conservatism and a muscular foreign policy. But even conservatives view Santorum’s claims skeptically in light of his 16 years in Congress.

At times during the Iowa campaign, the former congressman and senator from Pennsylvania railed against front-runner Mitt Romney, portraying him as a closet moderate who doesn’t present a sharp contrast with President Barack Obama.

“We need someone who has the bold, sharp contrasts, not just to win the election but to govern the country,” said Santorum, who has emerged from Iowa as the conservative alternative to Romney. “Not just someone who is a little bit better.”

As a House member for four years and a senator for 12, Santorum developed a reputation for his robust use of “earmarks,” those measures slipped into expansive spending bills that provide money for home-state projects. Today, with the practice out of favor among conservatives bent on balancing the federal budget, Santorum opposes them but defends their use in the past.

Santorum also advocated big government programs in education and transportation and benefits for low-income people while in Congress.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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