Santorum: Christie a liberal, Paul 'dangerous'

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, hoping to seize a victory in the Iowa caucuses next week, attacked Rep. Ron Paul as a "truly dangerous" choice for president, and said that both Mitt Romney and his surrogate, Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., "establishment Republicans," rather than true conservatives.

"No, they don't know," Santorum said today on the Jack Riccardi radio show when asked if Iowa voters "know" that Christie is a "big liberal Republican," as the guest host phrased it. "I like Chris, I've known Chris for years -- he's a fun guy and he's an interesting guy, but he's certainly not a conservative Republican," he added. 

Santorum used Christie's stumping for Romney as an opportunity to attack the Iowa frontrunner. "And that's the kind of folks that Mitt Romney's attracting, that's why he's bringing them out here; he's trying to get the establishment Republicans," he added. Santorum said that he is targeting "real conservatives, Reagan conservatives."

The late-blooming candidate also derided Ron Paul's foreign policy views, especially on Iran. "You scratch your head and wonder what world he lives on," he said, noting that he hopes Ron Paul finishes no better than third in the upcoming caucuses. "Ron Paul is someone that would be truly, truly dangerous to have as President of the United States when it comes to national security -- and I think the people of Iowa are beginning to figure that out."

An NBC poll released today shows Santorum in third place in Iowa with 15 percent support, trailing Romney (23 percent) and Paul (21 percent).

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