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Santorum on the Romney Family Dog Story: 'Issues of Character Are Important

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"whether that’s the kind of person you want to be president of the United States."

Rick Santorum on Sunday hit rival Mitt Romney on the long-simmering issue of the Romney family dog.

The story of how Romney once strapped the dog in a kennel to the roof of his car during a road trip has popped up from time to time on the campaign trail. A top Santorum adviser referenced the incident on CNN last week, saying: "I'm not sure I’m going to listen to a value judgment of a guy who strapped his own dog on the top of a car and went hurling down the highway.”

Santorum, asked whether the issue deserves to be an election issue, said it was a matter of "character."

“All I would say is, you know, the issues of character are important in this election, and we need to look at all those issues and make a determination as to whether that’s the kind of person you want to be president of the United States," he said on ABC's "This Week."

Santorum also said he's not proud of his support of former Republican-turned-Democrat Senate colleague Arlen Specter's 1996 bid for president. Santorum has come under fire for his past support of Specter, including in Specters' 2004 Senate re-election bid.

"I was his colleague in the U.S. Senate he asked me to stand with him," Santorum said. "That certainly wasn't one of the prouder moments I look back on...I certainly knew that Arlen Specter was going nowhere and I certainly disagreed with a lot of things that he said,” he said.

"It was something I look back and wish I hadn’t done," he said.

Watch Santorum's full interview below, via ABC. Comments about Romney's dog begin at the 17:20 mark:

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