Last Friday, I posted that if it came down to a choice between Romney and Santorum, “I’d have to think about it” because “[m]ost of all, I find [Santorum] to be the least scrutinized of the candidates so far.”

That post was taken as being “anti-Santorum,” but it was not.

Unlike Romney (with the exception of Bain, but don’t get me started) and Newt, who are pretty well known figures, and whose real or perceived faults mostly are known, Santorum’s record had not been scrutinized.

Clearly Santorum was a social conservative, but it was not at all clear to me that he was a smaller government, Tea Party kinda guy as his advertisements claimed.

Since then the record has emerged that in the Senate Santorum pretty much went along with the Republican big government agenda.  Those are just the facts.

Verum Serum has a post today about how Santorum fought against Republican attempts to means-test food stamps, which contributed to the ballooning of costs.  Karl at Patterico has more on Santorum’s big government history, as does PolitiJim.

While Santorum has attacked Newt for supporting TARP I in September 2008, the reality is that Newt spoke out forcefully against it, and only stated later that if he had to vote on it despite the failure to cure the deficiencies, he probably would have voted for it given the dire warnings from the President and Treasury Secretary, and business friends who argued that it was needed.

By contrast, there is no evidence of Santorum speaking out forcefully on the subject at the time.

The facts as they are coming out support what I suspected, that when Santorum was in office Santorum was not a smaller government, Tea Party kinda guy.  And neither was Mitt Romney, so there.

I am not convinced Santorum’s surge will survive on the social issue front.  As unfair and twisted as the spin may be, there is a narrow time window, and if it costs Santorum during primaries through Super Tuesday, it may be too late for him to recover.

I may still support Santorum if Newt does not reemerge, but not because Santorum is a smaller government, Tea Party kinda guy.  Or maybe I’ll just sit and watch.