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Santorum Swings Hard At Romney, Says His Team Is 'All Democrats'

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WASHINGTON –- As his lead in the polls slips ahead of Tuesday's crucial primary election in Michigan, Rick Santorum is ratcheting up his attacks on Mitt Romney in an attempt to regain momentum in the Republican presidential primary.

Santorum is unloading on Romney, focusing his energy Friday on delivering blistering attacks in appearances on conservative media outlets. Before noon, he had already gone on Laura Ingraham's radio program to launch his broadsides.

Santorum is counterattacking on the "team" theme that has dominated the news cycle since Wednesday night's debate. Santorum got banged up when he said that it was "a mistake" to have supported President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind federal education law, but that "when you're part of the team, sometimes you take one for the team."

Romney pounced on Thursday, saying that Santorum's team was "insiders in Washington" while his team was "the American people."

Santorum's disgust with this is evident in his response, which was provided to The Huffington Post by the Santorum campaign.

"Mitt Romney has criticized me for taking one for the Republican team and we all know why, because Mitt Romney’s teammates are all Democrats," Santorum said in an emailed statement. "It's pretty clear what team Mitt Romney is on when he passed socialized medicine that included $50 dollar abortions -- bragged about not lining up with the NRA -- appointed liberal activist judges to the Massachusetts bench, and was hanging out at Planned Parenthood events celebrating the pro–choice agenda."

"No wonder working with a Republican President's team is foreign to Mitt Romney," Santorum said.

That's just the beginning. The Santorum campaign provided a long list of attacks that it said the candidate will be leveling throughout the day and into the weekend.


While Mitt Romney was fighting for government run healthcare that raises your healthcare costs, lowers the quality of healthcare and forces you to rely on the government -- I fought to lower costs, raise quality care and give you more choices and control over your own healthcare.

While Mitt Romney was pushing for the Wall Street Bailouts -- I was fighting for the free-market system to work.

While Mitt Romney was fighting against the 2nd Amendment and saying exactly 'he didn’t line up with the NRA' I was working with NRA and getting a A+ rating.

While Mitt Romney was supporting the confirmation of liberal activist judges to the Massachusetts court, I was fighting to confirm conservative justices Roberts, and Alito and Thomas.

While Mitt Romney was signing 189 marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, I was traveling the country fighting for traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

While Mitt Romney was allowing $50 dollar abortions and hanging out at Planned Parenthood events, I was standing on the floor of the US Senate fighting to end partial birth abortions.

While Mitt Romney was listening to the radical environmentalists about global warming and pushing taxpayer dollars to green energy companies -- I was fighting to open up drilling in Alaska and expand natural gas exploration.

While Mitt Romney was listening to his energy czar, who now works for Obama’s energy team -- I was listening to you and fighting to keep coal fire plants open so energy prices would be lower.

While Mitt Romney was fighting to pass radical environmental regulations on coal fire plants -- I was fighting to keep coal fire plants open so energy prices would be lower.

When he had the chance, at every turn, Mitt Romney supported his teammates -- but the problem is his teammates were the Democrats.

Governor Romney described himself as resolute on that debate stage ... There's no question that he's resolute -- trouble is he's resolutely liberal - and I have, and will continue, to fight for conservatives and all American's.

The Romney campaign said that Santorum's criticisms were a sign of desperation.

"Rick Santorum is a Washington insider who is lashing out at Mitt Romney because he had a terrible debate performance," said Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom. "Back in 2008, Sen. Santorum endorsed Mitt Romney for president because of Mitt’s ‘conservative’ record. Now, Rick’s changed his tune. This sounds like another case of Rick Santorum abandoning his principles for his own political advantage."

Santorum is also attempting to recapture the initiative by announcing his agenda for the first 100 days of his presidency. He is doing so, however, at the unfortunate time of 8 p.m. on a Friday night.

But the former Pennsylvania senator does not have much choice. He has seen his advantage over Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, slowly erode over the past week. The Romney headquarters in Boston has waged a systematic, multi-front campaign that has worked to bring Santorum down while boosting its candidate through positive messaging in the state where Romney was born and raised.

"This Italian kid from a steel town," said Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley, "he may not start every fight but he knows how to fight back."

This story has been updated to include a response from the Romney campaign.

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