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Mitt Romney Attended Rick Santorum Fundraiser In 2006

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Mitt Romney's campaign has gone to great lengths in recent days to make Rick Santorum's endorsement of the former Massachusetts governor's 2008 White House run a burden for Santorum's current presidential bid.

The attack has always had a hint of hypocrisy, owing to the $10,000 that Romney's political action committee gave to Santorum when Santorum was running for re-election to the Senate in 2006. But, it turns out, the support Romney gave to his now-presidential rival was deeper than a set of checks. Romney, it appears, attended a Santorum fundraiser during the heat of that tumultuous election year.

On Oct. 15, 2006, Romney sat down for his first interview with a British newspaper (The Times) to discuss a meeting he had with Margaret Thatcher and his likely presidential ambitions. The piece, unearthed in a Lexis-Nexis search and still archived in some websites, included the following nugget.

On the campaign trail last week he stopped by at a fundraiser in Philadelphia for Rick Santorum, one of the senators most identified with the Christian “values voters” who kept President George W. Bush in power in 2004.

Romney was, at the time, head of the Republican Governor's Association. And according to a review of other articles from that time period, he was in Philadelphia in early-October 2006 to campaign for Lynn Swann, the former Pittsburgh Steelers great who had mounted a campaign to unseat Ed Rendell as governor. But a National Journal piece, also from that time period, also states that he was in town to help Santorum too.

Later this week, former President George H. W. Bush is slated to headline a campaign event for Santorum, according to a campaign aide. Santorum has also tapped GOP Govs. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Jeb Bush of Florida and his fellow Republican colleagues, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to visit his state this month.

There is a difference between helping out with a Senate campaign and endorsing in a presidential primary. But still, it is a marvel that the Santorum camp hasn't found video (hell, even a picture or a fundraising invitation) of that '06 event.

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