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Santorum: 'Something to be said' for presidential candidates holding past public office

"There is something to be said for having a candidate in the race who has been in front of the national public eye, who has gotten the scrutiny," Santorum said on Fox News Tuesday.

The former Pennsylvania senator touted his own experience in the media spotlight running in numerous state and federal elections, saying he has already had his background examined.

"There's a disadvantage to that because you're not new, you're not fresh in some respects in the sense that you’re not a new person on the scene, but there's an advantage that you've been tested and that you've been able to weather those storms," he explained.

Cain catapulted to the national scene and became a front-runner for the GOP nomination with the message that he is a Washington outsider who won't conform to rules of political correctness.

The former Godfather's Pizza executive is the only major presidential candidate who has not previously held elected office.

Cain acknowledged he experienced charges of sexual harassment when he served as president of the National Restaurant Association from 1996 to 1999, but said the allegations were baseless.

The charges against Cain surfaced in a story published Sunday night that Cain suggested could have been planted by a rival campaign. The story said two women had accused Cain of sexually inappropriate behavior, and had left the trade group with financial settlements and agreements not to talk about the arrangements.

For the latest on Cain, click here.

—Justin Sink and Josh Lederman contributed to this story.