Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

State News

February 9, 2012

Under attack, Santorum defends 'good' earmarks

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — Under attack for his spending habits in Congress, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum defended his use of earmarks, saying Thursday that some were necessary for defense or health programs.

With the ex-senator's senator's surprising climb back into contender status with a trio of wins this week in the race to become the GOP's presidential nominee, Santorum has become the subject of biting criticism from rival Mitt Romney.

The former Massachusetts governor is challenging Santorum's commitment to fiscal discipline by pointing out spending set-asides he sought during the days when he represented Pennsylvania in Congress.

The taint of earmarks, or spending that lawmakers direct to favorite projects, still dogs candidates courting the fiscally conservative tea party movement, which explains why Romney and his allies have been pounding Santorum on the issue.

Santorum upset Romney this week by winning nominating contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

Campaigning in strongly conservative Oklahoma, Santorum defended his record and argued that earmarks were a legislative check on the executive branch.

"There are good earmarks and bad earmarks," he told reporters after a speech.

Santorum specifically defended targeted spending for the V-22 Osprey helicopter and a human tissue medical program in Pittsburgh. He declined to identify any earmarks he regretted.

On Wednesday, Romney said Santorum and former Speaker Newt Gingrich belong to a category of Republicans who "spent too much money, borrowed too much money, earmarked too much."

Santorum said Thursday that he fought to end earmarks amid concerns that lawmakers were abusing the practice. He tried to turn the issue back on Romney, who is having trouble winning over the conservative voters that Santorum, himself a conservative, is appealing to.

Santorum said Massachusetts benefited from earmarked money from Washington when Romney was governor.

"Gov. Romney's campaign has been about serially tearing down but not offering any kind of vision about what he wants to do for this country," Santorum said. "He's not going out and talking about his record as governor of Massachusetts. He hides from that record."

Later in the day, thousands turned out to hear Santorum at a basketball arena on the campus of conservative Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.

Santorum was scheduled to be in Washington on Friday to address the Conservative Political Action Committee's annual gathering.



Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

1
Text Only
State News
Business Marquee

e-Edition
  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.

     

    CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE E-EDITION SITE

     

    ATTENTION CURRENT DEMOCRAT SUBSCRIBERS TO START an e-EDITION

    e-mail request to sjohnson@pvdemocrat.com

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Stocks
Facebook