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Santorum honors grandfather with Secret Service nickname

Nicknames. They're the worst-kept secret held by the U.S. Secret Service.

Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney recently received Secret Service protection, but any attempt to protect their nicknames has already been abandoned.

The names are out -- Santorum is "Petrus" and Romney is "Javelin."

Santorum told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren on Monday that Petrus is the Latin word for "Peter," which is his son's name as well as a variation on his grandfather's Italian name.

"You've heard me talk repeatedly about my grandfather.  His name was Pietro.  And I just didn't think Pietro would work.  I just -- it's a name and I didn't want a name.  So I thought Petrus, which is the Latin word for 'Peter' and for 'rock.'  I thought (it) was a more apt name than an Italian name for Peter," Santorum said.

Taking a jab at his Republican rival, Santorum added that he thought Romney was named after an American Motors car. 

"I remember the Javelin.  It was a very -- it was an unusual car.  So I think it sort of fits," he said.

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