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Rick Santorum targeted in GOP debate, Obama visits Florida for Orlando fundraiser

11:22 AM, Feb 23, 2012   |    comments
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Orlando, Florida -- If you have $30,000 to spare, you can go to President Obama's fundraising dinner in Orlando on Thursday night.

The 30-grand-a-ticket event is at NBA player Vince Carter's house. For a time, Carter played for the Orlando Magic, and he grew up down the road in Daytona Beach.

Folks with full wallets were already planning to visit Orlando. The NBA's All Star weekend events start Friday.

The game is on Sunday, so although he's a big basketball fan, the president won't be attending.

Wednesday night in Arizona, the four men who want to take on the president gathered for what may be the last Republican debate of the campaign.

This was a chance for Rick Santorum to make a splash as front-runner as he tries to beat Mitt Romney in Romney's home state of Michigan this Tuesday.

That did not happen.

Instead, Santorum spent a solid chunk of the debate on the defensive.

Santorum has repeatedly staked his campaign on his record as a true conservative -- both when it comes to social issues and spending.

But Romney and Ron Paul tore into him.

- Over supporting budget earmarks that get senators special projects in their states,

- Over supporting liberal Senator Arlen Spector, who Santorum backed, even though a more conservative person was running against him,

- Over supporting big budget bills that included money for Planned Parenthood,

- And over his vote for President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind program, which expanded the federal government's role in education.

No more Republican presidential debates have been scheduled.

And with Romney's fundraising advantage -- especially over Santorum -- it may make sense for Romney to pass on any future invitations.

Here's the logic on that: why would he agree to give his opponents a bunch of free airtime when he can afford to buy a lot more advertising than they can?

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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