- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rick Santorum, in his first media appearance since announcing he was dropping out of the GOP presidential race and endorsing Marco Rubio, couldn’t name an accomplishment of the Florida senator when asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Thursday morning.

“Well, I mean, I would just say that this is a guy who’s been able to, No. 1, win a tough election in Florida and pull people together from a variety of different spots. This is a guy that I think can work together with people,” Mr. Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, said. “That’s the thing I like about him the most.”

Joe Scarborough, host of “Morning Joe,” continued to press Mr. Santorum asking: “So he can win, but he’s been in the Senate for four years. Can you name his top accomplishment in the Senate, actually working in the Senate doing something that tilted your decision to Marco Rubio?”

Mr. Santorum concluded: “I guess it’s hard to say there are accomplishments” given that Mr. Rubio is a junior senator working in a government “where nothing gets done.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was lagging Mr. Rubio in recent polling in New Hampshire and has been hitting the Florida senator hard on the trail, pounced.

“Rick Santorum can’t name one thing that Marco Rubio has done. I will tell you one thing Marco Rubio’s done — he’s made it very clear on the issue of pro-life, Marco Rubio is not for an exception for rape, incest or life of the mother,” Mr. Christie said on the same program Thursday, aiming for the more independent New Hampshire voters, who will cast their ballots for a GOP contender in the first-in-the-nation primary.

Mr. Christie said the GOP presidential contest in the Granite State has come down between himself and Mr. Rubio.

The campaign manager for New Hampshire front-runner Donald Trump, retweeted the Santorum clip on Thursday, as did Jeb Bush’s communication’s director.

“This is what happens at the end of the campaign,” Mr. Rubio told Fox News Thursday morning of his competitors’ attacks. “We’re five days away, and there are candidates not doing well, and they’re going to start to lash out — they think it might help them. I’m focused on the future of America.”

• Editor’s note: Political reporter Kelly Riddell’s husband, Frank Sadler, was the campaign manager for Republican presidential contender Carly Fiorina.

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