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Paul blasts Santorum as 'serial hypocrite'

Ron Paul debuted a new ad Friday calling Rick Santorum "another serial hypocrite," escalating an increasingly bruising fight between the Texas congressman and the former Pennsylvania senator.

"America's challenges are too great. Don't be fooled, Rick Santorum has a record of betrayal. Another serial hypocrite who can't be trusted," the narrator says.

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The ad criticizes Santorum's votes to raise the debt ceiling, questions his opposition to the Right to Work Act, and suggests that he was "one of the most corrupt members in Congress." The ad also compares Santorum to Newt Gingrich, insinuating that Paul's campaign would "expose" his record in a similar way to how it exposed Gingrich. The former House Speaker blamed attack ads funded by Paul — and supporters of Mitt Romney — for dooming his once-leading Iowa campaign.

The Paul campaign said the ad will begin airing in South Carolina.

Earlier Friday, Paul told reporters that he didn't see Santorum as his biggest competitor — and hit him as not conservative enough.

"Hardly!" Paul said, according to Slate. "I think he's a competitor, but I don't think he's the biggest one. He's one individual, when conservatives find out how big-government he is — he talks big about the Balanced Budget Amendment, never did anything about it. Four or five times, he voted to raise the national debt, so that tells you how conservative he is. He doubled, more than doubled the size of the Department of Education. At the same time, he voted for that program to increase massively the prescription drug program, which is a medical program that is not paying its way, and is another reason the entitlement system is under such attack."

Santorum and Paul finished second and third, respectively, in the Iowa caucuses, and have frequently sparred on the campaign trail and in GOP debates. The rivals have been particularly vocal on the issue of Iran.

Santorum went as far as to tell Fox News reporters that he thought Paul was "disgusting" following a morning show interview Tuesday.

Paul later criticized those remarks as "not a very nice thing to do."

"I think he wants to deflect away from some of the charges made against him, about having been a supporter of Arlen Specter, and he was a pretty liberal senator," Paul told Fox News. "He supported prescription drug programs and No Child Left Behind and voted for all the foreign aid, so I would say that he ought to be talking about that, rather than calling me names."

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