ON THE ROPES

Santorum on the Defensive in Debate

Rick Santorum got the frontrunner treatment at last night’s Republican debate in Arizona, struggling to defend himself against attacks from Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. (Newt Gingrich mostly quarreled with the moderator, John King.) Romney hit Santorum on earmarks, saying, “While I was fighting to save the Olympics, you were fighting to save the Bridge to Nowhere.” Romney also went after Santorum for voting in favor of a bill that funded Planned Parenthood and for No Child Left Behind. Santorum’s statement that he voted for the Bush-era education program even though “it was against the principles I believed in” drew boos from the audience. He followed by saying, “Sometimes you gotta take one for the team.”