(CNN) - A trio of Missouri surrogates for Mitt Romney took aim at Rick Santorum on Tuesday, saying the former Pennsylvania senator has misled voters on his fiscal conservative record.
"He certainly has been outspoken on social issues, and we honor his record in that regard. But when you get outside those issues…his record shows he's been in the liberal wing of the Republican Party," former Sen. Jim Talent said on a call with reporters.
Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
Santorum won Missouri's non-binding primary last week with a whopping 55% of the vote, while Romney came in second place at 25%. But the state's delegates will not be up for grabs until Missouri holds its caucuses on March 17.
While Romney did not campaign in the Show-Me State prior to the contest last week, Talent said the campaign plans to have a "vigorous operation" in the coming weeks before the caucuses.
Downplaying Santorum's Missouri win, Talent said Romney's strategy all along has been to hold off until the caucuses, and said last week's primary was like "an exhibition game with only one team playing on the field."
Also on the call was Rep. Billy Long of Missouri and State Auditor Tom Schweich, both of whom praised Romney's credentials in the private sector and bashed Santorum as a Washington insider who falsely paints himself as a conservative.
"I have to admit I'm a little perplexed that…some Missouri friends of mine seem to put Santorum on a pedestal, saying he's 'oh-how conservative.' He views himself, I think, as the second coming of (South Carolina Sen.) Jim DeMint, but he's far, far from that," Long said.
They pointed to Santorum's spending record as a two-term senator, in which the candidate has come under heavy criticism from his opponents over his history of securing earmarks.
The surrogates also highlighted Santorum's support for 'No Child Left Behind' and his vote against right-to-work legislation as evidence against his conservative credentials.
Santorum, however, says he regrets voting for the education reform bill, and he would support a national right-to-work law as president. On earmarks, the candidate has said the practice was popular among Republican lawmakers while he was in office but now opposes it, claiming the system has become abused.