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Rick Santorum calls Ron Paul ineffective, dangerous

January 08, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli
(Alex Wong/Getty Images )

Reporting from Concord, N.H. — Long before his jump in the polls, Rick Santorum stood out for his debate battles with Ron Paul. The two were back at it on a bigger stage in a morning debate here just days before the New Hampshire primary, with Santorum branding the Texas congressman as an ineffective legislator that would make for a dangerous commander in chief.

"He's never really passed anything of any import," Santorum charged. "And one of the reasons people like Congressman Paul is his economic plan. He's never been able to accomplish any of that. He has no track record of being able to work together. He's been out there on the margins."

He continued, "The problem with Congressman Paul is, all the things that Republicans like about him he can't accomplish and all the things they're worried about, he'll do day one.

Paul responded by saying that the fact that so few of the bills have introduced in Congress have advanced "demonstrates how out of touch the U.S. government and the U.S. Congress is with the American people."

And he defended what has been called an isolationist foreign policy.

"We can't stay in 130 countries, get involved in nation-building. We cannot have 900 bases overseas. We have to change policy," he said.

The exchange came in response to questions about how the Republican candidates would work across party lines to make progress for the country.

Mitt Romney touted his work with the heavily-Democratic legislature during his term as governor of Massachusetts.

"Even though there are dramatically different perspectives on how the world works and what's right, we can find common ground," he said.

Santorum touted the achievements of a Republican Congress during the Clinton administration, as of course former Speaker Newt Gingrich did as well.

"I was negotiating with Bill Clinton. He knew I wanted him to be a one term president. And we got a lot of things done, including welfare reform," he said.

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