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Romney Campaign: Santorum 'Big Labor's Favorite Senator'

6:00 PM, Feb 15, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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The latest Mitt Romney hit on Rick Santorum is headlined, "RICK SANTORUM: BIG LABOR'S FAVORITE SENATOR," and cites Santorum's 1996 vote against a national "right to work" law as primary evidence for its claim. But while Santorum, who represented labor-heavy Pennsylvania, was to the left of some of his Republican colleagues in Congress on labor issues, but it doesn't quite seem right to say he was big labor's "favorite."

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum

In fact, Santorum wasn't the AFL-CIO's highest-rated senator when he was in office--he wasn't even their highest-rated Republican senator. At the end of 2006, his last year in office, Santorum had a 13 percent lifetime rating from the AFL-CIO. That was about even, in labor's view, with most of the Republican caucus. The highest-rated GOP senators at the time were Lincoln Chafee (54 percent) and Arlen Specter (61 percent).

For the moniker of big labor's "favorite," names like Harry Reid (91 percent), Russ Feingold (93 percent), or Barbara Boxer (95 percent) might be more appropriate. But then again, Reid, Feingold, and Boxer aren't challenging Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.

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