Maggie Gallagher

St. McCain -- distorting the record and misleading the public? If you listen to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, that may not be as surprising as the branders want you to believe. In an unprecedentedly frank evaluation of a former GOP colleague. Sen. Santorum, who hasn't endorsed a candidate, said McCain is "very, very dangerous for Republicans" on domestic issues.

"The bottom line is that I served 12 years with him, six years in the United States Senate," he told WABC radio talk show host Mark Levin. "And almost at every turn on domestic policy, John McCain was not only against us, but leading the charge on the other side."

Sen. McCain apparently had a nasty habit of leaving one impression in public on social issues like abortion and marriage, and another behind closed Senate doors, according to Santorum:

"That discussion is held in private, where you're jostling and jockeying to get your legislation into the queue so that you can have your time on the floor to get something done. And I can tell you, when social-conservative issues were ever raised -- whether it was marriage or abortion or a whole host of other issues -- there were always the moderates who said: 'No, no, no, we can't. They're divisive, divisive, divisive.' And more often than not, John McCain was ... with them."

"That's wrong," Santorum added. "And that gives me an insight into what he would really be like if he were president of the United States."

The next night on the Mark Levin show, another even more respected and distinguished conservative voice, Judge Robert Bork, called McCain a "liberal."

Johnny, we hardly knew ye.

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.