Washington, IA - Rick Perry is unleashing a new line of attack against his GOP rival Rick Santorum, calling out the former senator as a Washington insider addicted to earmarks.

"Rick Santorum is a friend and I've got great respect for him but when he talks about fiscal conservatism every now and then it kind of leaves me scratching my head," Perry said during a campaign stop in Washington, Iowa.

"I love Iowa pork but I hate Washington pork, and Senator Santorum, he loaded up his bills with Pennsylvania pork. He said in 2009 I'm very proud of my earmarks, I put them in my bills and I will defend earmarks. Well Senator Santorum, I'm going to give you that opportunity because earmarks are the gateway drug to the spending habits they have in Washington, DC."

During an interview on Fox's "America Live with Megyn Kelly", Santorum fired back.

"The idea that earmarks are against the constitution or something illicit that a congressman shouldn't do is factually incorrect," he insisted.

"I said and I have after I left the congress, I deferred my earmarks in the sense I'm proud of the money that I did set aside for things that were priorities in my state instead of having bureaucrats do that."

Both candidates are competing for a vital bloc of evangelical caucus-goers in Iowa but a series of recent polls show Santorum is now the one surging in the Hawkeye State.

After his event, Perry was asked by reporters if there was any outcome in Iowa that would end his campaign.

"Well, that's God's will, there might be an outcome that He decides that I wouldn't go on," Perry said.

Asked if God would be caucusing on January 3rd, Perry replied, "Pretty sure He will be."