INSIDER

Santorum Downplays D.C. Deals

Since surprising the political world by taking a close second in the Iowa caucus on Tuesday, Rick Santorum has been battling increased press scrutiny of his reputation as a hard-nosed backroom dealer in Washington, a label that could damage him with anti-establishment GOP voters. As a federal lawmaker, Santorum worked closely with K Street lobbyists, chairing a weekly meeting designed to elicit lobbyists thoughts and legislation and get Republicans hired at lobbying firms. After he was ousted in 2006, the former senator went on to make millions from consulting gigs. Santorum’s campaign has blamed the new attention to his record as a plot by the GOP establishment and “elites” who want to keep an insurgent candidate out of the race.