Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum reminisce about the ’90s

September 12, 2011

Debates are opportunities for candidates to draw contrasts between one another, but for Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, Monday’s GOP debate in Tampa was a chance to look back on the good old days.

Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Santorum, a former senator, reminisced about their time in Congress in the boom times of the 1990s, talking about their work together and with Democrats.

“Let me say, I helped balance the budget for four straight years, so this is not a theory,” Gingrich said. “Rick and I were working together on this.”

Santorum, for his part, gave Gingrich a shout-out and suggested the speaker knew how to rally both sides of the aisle behind a budget plan.

“What we need to do is have a pro-growth plan that can pass the Congress with Democratic support and, as Newt mentioned, be able to rally the American people,” Santorum said.

The two served in the House in the early 1990s. In 1994, Santorum moved to the Senate and Gingrich ascended to speaker after the GOP retook the majority in the House.

Both candidates have struggled to define themselves in the presidential race, and Gingrich’s campaign in particular has yet to meet the expectations that were set out for it.

Santorum has turned in strong debate performances but has struggled to raise money and overcome other conservative candidates in the race.

Full debate coverage at PostPolitics

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Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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