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Perry accuses Santorum of winning $1 billion in earmarks

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In a new radio ad, Texas Gov. Rick Perry says fellow Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who is surging in the polls, isn’t a fiscal conservative because he supported earmarking when he was in the Senate.

Mr. Perry accuses Mr. Santorum of voting for the bill that funded the “Bridge to Nowhere,” an Alaska pork-barrel project that drew attention to the earmarking practice in 2005.

Mr. Santorum not only voted for the highway bill funding, but also voted against a specific effort by Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, to strip out the bridge funding.

“Who personally demanded more than one billion dollars of earmarks in his 16 years in Congress,” Mr. Perry’s ad demands.

Mr. Santorum has risen sharply in the polls in Iowa in recent days as caucus voters continue to search for a conservative champion they can match up against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has held steady support throughout the contest.

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