Santorum: No plans to team up with Gingrich

Rick Santorum said Friday that he isn’t planning a conservative alliance with any of his fellow GOP candidates.

“Campaigns aren't about alliances, campaigns are about ideas, they're about candidates and their backgrounds,” Santorum told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham.

“That was the argument made in Iowa,” Santorum told Ingraham when asked whether Santorum and some of his rivals needed to unite in order to oppose front-runner Mitt Romney. 

Santorum did not completely rule out working with other candidates, saying, “those things sort of naturally happen.”

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Newt Gingrich appeared to float the idea earlier in the week, also on Ingraham’s show, following Santorum’s surprise near-win in the Iowa caucus on Tuesday.

“[The argument is that] otherwise Romney’s going to take it, and it didn’t happen,” Santorum said.

Santorum and Romney ended up in a virtual tie for first place in Iowa, with Romney taking the win by just eight votes over Santorum. “Obviously, going one on one with Mitt Romney right now would be the best possible scenario, but I don’t make that decision," the former senator said.

Santorum told The Daily on Thursday that he disagrees with Gingrich on issues such as issuing subpoenas to federal judges.

“I’m not going to go out of my way to attack Speaker Gingrich. But if I disagree with something, I’ll say it, and I have said it before,” Santorum said.

And Gingrich went on to slam Santorum as a “junior partner” while describing his work in Congress at a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Thursday.

“I don't know that he has any track record of being able to organize a large-scale campaign,” Gingrich said.

“We obviously have some different takes on the events of history when we served together,” Santorum said on Ingraham.

Santorum credited Gingrich as “a great thinker,” a friend, and an inspiration when he decided to run for Congress. 

But he told Ingraham he just wants to run his own campaign for now.

“I believe that the conservative movement will align behind us. It hasn’t done that yet; it’s starting to do that,” he said. “You have to go through this … you have to show that you can handle the pressure.”

The pressure is on Santorum leading up to the next three primaries in early states New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. His surge in the polls is just over a week old, and all eyes are on him to see if he can translate a heavy focus on socially conservative voters in Iowa into a national campaign.

Santorum was pressed on his religious beliefs during a New Hampshire radio interview on Thursday when a caller declared his opposition to a “Jesus candidate.” 

He recounted the exchange to Ingraham. "My answer to that was, we always need a Jesus candidate," he said. “Of course you want people who believe in God. Not necessarily in Jesus.”

Santorum belongs to the Roman Catholic denomination but clarified that it’s more important for leaders to believe in a higher power, whether or not Christian.

--This post was updated at 1:45 p.m.

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