Rick Santorum’s own nephew is supporting Ron Paul

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Sweater-vest king Rick Santorum has the Big Mo going into Tuesday night's Iowa caucuses, riding a conservative religious wave as the latest un-Romney GOP candidate to surge in the polls by virtue of not being a wealthy Mormon who worked for Bain Capital. It's been an unusual Republican race thus far, with almost the entire field getting a chance to be the un-Romney du jour at one time or another, aside from Jon Huntsman, who committed the unforgivable sin of having worked for President Obama.

Ron Paul also presents a formidable challenge to Romney in Iowa, enjoying his own surge courtesy of a passionate, youthful following symbolized by the highly-coveted Kelly Clarkson endorsement. But another endorsement Paul received today was even more unexpected. Nineteen-year-old John Garver, a student at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and, more importantly, Rick Santorum's own nephew, is publicly supporting Ron Paul for president.

In an op-ed published today by Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller, Garver demonstrated that independent thought is thicker than blood, writing that Santorum's "interventionist policies, both domestic and foreign, stem from his irrational fear of freedom not working." If Santorum is as good as his Christian rhetoric, he will have no problem forgiving his nephew for stating:

"It is because of this inability of status quo politicians to recognize the importance of our individual liberties that I have been drawn to Ron Paul. Unlike my uncle, he does not believe that the American people are incapable of forming decisions. He believes that an individual is more powerful than any group (a notion our founding fathers also believed in)."

Santorum may just be clueless enough that, at the next family Christmas gathering, he'll think he's punishing his impertinent nephew by failing to gift him with his own new sweater vest.