Santorum on the defensive early in debate

AP News
Posted: Feb 22, 2012 8:30 PM
Santorum on the defensive early in debate

Rick Santorum is on the defensive at the GOP presidential debate, taking criticism from GOP opponents who say he's not a fiscal conservative.

The former Pennsylvania senator is coming under fire from rival Mitt Romney, who says Santorum voted five times to raise the debt ceiling while he served in the House and the Senate. Ron Paul says Santorum is a phony fiscal conservative and calls his votes for foreign aid inexcusable.

Santorum is pushing back, saying Romney was not a conservative governor in Massachusetts. He also says that unlike Paul, a Texas congressman, he had to run in a political divided area, not a deeply conservative one. He says he has been a consistent conservative.