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Santorum Endorsement for Sale?

Santorum Endorsement for Sale?

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An Iowa antigay activist who endorsed Rick Santorum for president is being accused of having sought cash in exchange for the nod.

"Less than 48 hours after receiving the backing of Bob Vander Plaats, the head of the prominent evangelical group the Family Leader, Santorum disclosed that the prominent Iowan told him he needed money to make the most out of the endorsement," ABC News reports. Santorum did not characterize this as a trade of money for support, but some other sources did. "Clearly the endorsement was for sale -- without a doubt," one source told ABC News.

Family Leader issued a statement saying that allegation was "absolutely false," and Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley said, "We did not, nor would we ever, agree to raise a single penny for another entity."

Former U.S. senator Santorum is one of several social conservatives seeking the Republican presidential nomination, and with its presidential caucus January 3, Iowa will be one of the first states to weigh in on the process. Santorum this week received the endorsement of Vander Plaats and another influential Iowa right-wing activist, Chuck Hurley, but as an organization Family Leader remained neutral -- an indication that Christian right support is split among several candidates, including Santorum, Texas governor Rick Perry, and Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Vander Plaats suggested that some candidates drop out to ensure a conservative win, but so far no one has agreed to that.

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