In highlighting a “good earmark” – federal money for security at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics – Romney served up the most memorable barb of the evening: “While I was fighting to save the Olympics, you were fighting to save the bridge to nowhere,” he said to Santorum.
Santorum apologized for his 2001 vote in favor of No Child Left Behind, then-President Bush’s signature education program, which some conservatives oppose. Santorum said he opposed it at the time but voted for it anyway.
“I have to admit I voted for that,” Santorum said. “It was against the principles I believed in, but, you know, when you're part of the team, sometimes you take one for the team for the leader, and I made a mistake.”
The audience booed.
Romney and Congressman Paul both scolded Santorum for voting to fund Planned Parenthood, which the Pennsylvanian explained was included in a large appropriations bill that also funded the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services. But no matter, explaining a funding bill is usually a no-win proposition for a former-senator-turned-presidential-candidate.