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Santorum Takes Credit for 1994 GOP Takeover of the House

2:21 PM, Jan 6, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Radio host Laura Ingraham asked Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum about a possible alliance between himself and fellow candidate Newt Gingrich.

Rick Santorum

“I think those things sort of naturally happen,” Santorum said of the reported alliance between the two camps. “You know I think everybody recognizes that Governor Romney is the establishment moderate candidate and John McCain sort of confirmed that. I mean, he’s next in line just like John McCain was next in line.”

Santorum did use the opportunity on the show to talk about his background and “differences” between himself and Gingrich--and to take partial credit for the Republican takeover of the House in 1994.

“[I]f you look at the election of 1994, certainly ideas were important,” Santorum said in a nod to Gingrich, who is generally given the credit for the Republican takeover of the House in 1994, “but the corruption that was going on in Washington, D.C. that we stood up and fought against was a big part of why we won that election.” Santorum portrayed himself as one of few folks in Washington who actually stood up against corruption in the nation’s capital.

And he portrayed Gingrich as absent. “I will say, in all honesty about Newt,” Santorum said, “he was not one” of the politicians putting pressure on Santorum and his crew to lay off the fight, nor was he one of the insiders who helped fight the corruption.

When prompted by Ingraham, Santorum did give credit to Gingrich for adding ideas to the political debate. “I was a guy that was really interested in state politics,” Santorum said. “I never really thought about ever running for federal office. I just was so upset with my Congressman that I just decided well, you know, someone’s gotta run. And Newt, and his tapes, GOPAC, and things out of Heritage and some of the other conservative groups in the country were places where I went to sort of get schooled up.”

But Santorum’s credit to his former colleague was backhanded. “Newt is a wealth of ideas, he really is a great thinker on a whole variety of issues. You know, the important thing is to be able to sift through some good ideas and some not-so-good ideas, but he is certainly someone who has a really solid mind to tear apart problems and come up with innovative solutions.” That is, Gingrich’s mind would be even better if he could sort the good ideas from the bad ones.

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