McCain goes after Santorum on earmarks while Perry’s son targets his sweater vests; Gingrich brings on McCollum in Florida; and Herman Cain tries to revive 9-9-9

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* Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), stumping for Mitt Romney on Thursday morning on CNN, attacked Rick Santorum for earmarking when he was in Congress. “I believe that earmarking is the gateway to corruption. Sen. Santorum supported it and engaged in it as much as he possibly could,” McCain said. “I strongly disagreed with it. That was a fundamental difference we had in the Senate, but I still respect him.”

* Newt Gingrich has brought on former Florida attorney general, Senate candidate and governor candidate Bill McCollum as his Florida campaign chairman.

* Rick Perry’s son took to Twitter today to criticize Santorum’s sweater vests. “Politics aside, can voters in SC really vote for a guy who’s fashion sense comes from Tressel?” Griffin Perry tweeted. The reference is to former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, another sweater vest afficionado who was recently banned from college football for five years for rules violations.

* Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) isn’t going to clear Republican primary field in Florida’s Senate race anytime soon. Mack will report more than half a million dollars raised in the fourth quarter. That’s a respectable sum, given he entered the race with just more than one month left in the quarter, but it’s unlikely to be much more than his opponents. Mack still has to prove his fundraising prowess matches his frontrunner status in the polls, which appears to have more to do with his famous name than anything else.


* Herman Cain may not be running for president, but that doesn’t mean he can’t campaign. Cain is going on a bus tour to promote his 9-9-9 tax plan and other economic ideas.

* Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie will headline a gathering of Hispanic conservatives in Miami later this month. The Hispanic Leadership Network’s “Inspiring Action” conference will be held Jan. 27 and will be hosted by former Florida governor Jeb Bush and former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.

* Santorum ain’t exactly poor. Between January 2010 and Augusta 2011, he made between $1.4 million and $1.6 million, according to his personal financial disclosure form. Sources of income included his Fox News contributor gig and serving on the board of United Health Services. Santorum’s net worth is between $560,000 and $2.3 million.

* Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) has endorsed Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) in her primary with former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey.


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