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We thought about entitling this article “Never Was Backs Has Been,” but then we realized our friends at Google, Bing and Yahoo probably wouldn’t get the joke …

As a result, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and former U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett – a pair of Christian Coalition-style “Republicans” who probably belong the 1988 GOP presidential primary – get to read their names in a headline.

Congrats, guys … or something.

Anyway, Barrett announced on Friday that he’s backing Santorum’s 2012 presidential bid, an endorsement which is highly unlikely to lift the socially-sanctimonious, fiscally-liberal Pennsylvanian’s support out of the low, low single digits in this early-voting state.

And while it’s true that a lot of South Carolina Republicans probably wish they’d voted for Barrett instead of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley in last summer’s GOP gubernatorial runoff election, that doesn’t mean Barrett – who had some extracurricular allegations of his own to deal with – is a major endorser in the 2012 race.

In fact if he’s able to sway even his immediate family over to Santorum’s side, we’d be amazed …

Barrett claims he’s backing Santorum because of the latter’s many visits to the Palmetto state in recent months – but the truth is this is nothing but payback for Santorum’s endorsement of Barrett in 2010.

We just hope there was no frothy byproduct to result from this favor trading …

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