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Rick Santorum says he'd cast vote for Ron Paul after taking 'a lot of antacid'

Rick Santorum said Wednesday he would "absolutely" vote for rival Ron Paul if he were the GOP presidential nominee, but admitted he is "nervous" about the possibility.

"I'd have to take a lot of antacid when I go into the voting booth and vote for him," Santorum said.

The former Pennsylvania senator said ultimately he would vote for Paul in order to have anyone other than President Obama in the White House, with the hope that if Paul won the office, "enough pressure could be brought to bear on him that he won't make these horrific [decisions]." 

Santorum said he has "serious concerns" that the Texas lawmaker would be a danger to national security, and fears he would bring home all U.S. troops if elected president. 

"A second term with Barack Obama I'm not sure will look that different from a Ron Paul administration," he said, when it comes to foreign policy.

Newt Gingrich made a similar point on Tuesday's "Situation Room," but said he would have a tough time choosing between Paul and Obama. Gingrich slammed Paul's policy views as “totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American."

Paul held the lead in Iowa in several recent polls, and his Republican competitors have been quick to criticize him this week over his stance on Iran. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney both slammed Paul as the candidate who would allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Santorum, who is in Iowa and pushing hard to build support in the home stretch before the Jan. 3 caucuses, has seen a dramatic jump in the polls to third place, ahead of former front-runner Gingrich, in a new CNN-ORC-Time poll released Wednesday. Santorum earned 16 percent in the poll, behind Romney with 25 percent and Paul with 22 percent.

Romney said later on CNN that despite the concerns he has voiced over Paul's foreign policy, he would vote for Paul because any of his fellow GOP candidates are "better than Barack Obama."

—Updated at 5:28 p.m.