Rick Santorum’s surge in Iowa prompts critics of his past endorsements

AMES, Iowa — Rick Santorum’s rise in the polls continues to draw the attention of critics.

On Friday as Santorum was at the Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar here, wading through a crowd of reporters and fans of Iowa State University watching their beloved Cyclones battle Rutgers in a televised bowl game at Yankee Stadium, leaflets attacking him were inserted in door handles of cars in the lot outside.

“Pro-Life FRAUD!’’ said the headline on the flyer “authorized by Iowans for Life.’’

The handout criticized him for “a long and storied history of campaigning for radical pro-abortion candidates’’ and specifically mentioned former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman and former fellow Pennsylvania senator Arlen Spector.

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Santorum, a longtime opponent of abortion rights, is trying to win support of the important bloc of votes from social and religious conservatives in Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses, the first contest in the Republican presidential nominating process.

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