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Santorum: I 'took one for the team' on No Child Left Behind, 'made a mistake'

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"I don't accept that form of government… I think the obligation to all of us should be the oath of office, not the oath to the party," Paul said.

Santorum said ultimately that while he supported performance measuring provisions in the legislation, the cost ultimately undermined the program.

"What was a bad idea was all the money that was put out there, and that in fact was a huge problem," Santorum said. "I admit to the mistake and I will not make that mistake again."

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich largely sidestepped the No Child Left Behind issue, instead criticizing teachers' unions for their influence on education spending and regulation.

"We have to stand up to the federal teachers unions and put the kids first," said Mitt Romney.

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