Politics
              Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a Republican presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, in Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
              Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a Republican presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)   

With campaign faltering, Santorum snipes at Cain, Gingrich

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum touted his status as a Washington insider Monday, taking a swipe at Herman Cain’s outsider status which he said left open the possibility for unpleasant surprises like the sexual harassment allegations that came to light last week.

“I have been out there running, saying experience matters … We elected the last president who was outside of Washington with very little experience,” Santorum said, adding that it “hasn’t worked out very well in the eyes of most Republicans and most Americans.”

Santorum added that his experience running in elections, even those that he lost, meant he had been vetted and there would be no surprises about his past or his principles coming to light.

“I have been through three statewide elections in a state with 13 and a half million people and was really in a national race in many respects as a leader of the Republican leadership. I am someone who has been tested and as everyone will recognize stood by my conservative principles throughout,” Santorum added.

Santorum also defended his status as an insider, saying that even though he was in Washington for some time, his record while there showed that he was not an insider in the pejorative sense of the word. It is a matter of “I was there, but look what I was doing there,” Santorum said, highlighting his record on welfare reform, passing balanced budgets, and promoting conservative social values.

The former Senator also took a swipe at former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, saying it was he, not the former speaker, who deserved credit for taking back Congress in 1994.

“Look at the fact that I was in a gang of seven and was really the reason for the 1994 congressional change that threw the Democrats out after 40 years,” Santorum said. “With all due respect to Newt, it really wasn’t the Contract with America. It was Boehner and Santorum trying to expose all the corruption.”

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