As Rick Santorum surges in the Iowa polls, the heat is on from his GOP rivals. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) took a couple of shots at the former Pennsylvania senator on FOX News Sunday.
"Senator Santorum lost his last election by a wider margin than any other sitting Republican senator," Bachmann told Chris Wallace. "He lost that race. I've won four races in the last four years in the toughest years for Republicans. In a liberal state like Minnesota, I won."
She went on to attack Santorum on earmarks.
"And also if you look at the spending issue, Senator Santorum voted for the bridge to nowhere," she said. "He's defended earmarks. Spending, which is the number one issue? He is a big spender in Washington, D.C. That's not what the American people are looking for."
Bachmann has come under scrutiny for her own earmark record, and in November 2010 she said she wanted to narrow the definition of earmarks to exclude transportation projects. Wallace questioned her claim that she has been "earmark free."
"You haven't gotten four million dollars in earmarks?" he asked.
"The first year I came in, I put the request in and I found out what the earmark system was about," Bachmann replied. "In the first term I never requested another earmark since and I won't."
"I respect the fact that she's trying to get around, but we did a courtship, we didn't speed date," he said. "We went out and talked to folks and had coffee with folks and sat with them and answered their questions. We spent, what, an hour and 20 minutes here. You know, we didn't sort of run in and say, 'Hi, I'm great, vote for me.' I don't think that's what Iowans are looking for."
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