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Uneven as a Senator, Santorum Not Perceived as Presidential

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

A second Republican lobbyist cautioned against viewing Santorum strictly through the prism of his outspoken social conservatism, which some of his supporters concede overshadows the less provocative issues he has championed.

During his Senate tenure, Santorum regularly hosted fundraisers for his Republican colleagues in Pennsylvania, including the moderate Members of his party. His relationship with K Street was also strong, a quality that drew criticism from opponents during his Senate tenure. And that cozy association with lobbyists might not be worth bragging about in the current political environment. But those connections apparently served him well politically.

“He had top staff, excellent political operations and he set up a Pennsylvania-based fundraising operation that generated mega-dollars for his colleagues,” a GOP lobbyist said.

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