Santorum's tax returns show steady rise in wealth

By STEPHEN BRAUN | February 15, 2012 | 10:05 PM EST

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum meets with business leaders, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, in Tioga, N.D. (AP Photo/Williston Herald, Elijah Nouvelage)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is releasing four years' worth of federal income tax returns showing a steady rise in his personal wealth between 2007 and 2010.

Santorum's returns show his federal income taxes rose from 2007, when he paid $167,000, to $310,000 in 2009, then dropped to $263,000 in 2010. During that same period, his annual income surged from nearly $660,000 in 2007 to $1.1 million in 2009 before slipping to $923,000 in 2010.

Santorum has sold himself as a Washington outsider and social conservative. After he lost a bid for re-election as a senator from Pennsylvania in 2006, he became a millionaire by capitalizing on his D.C. political connections, working as a corporate consultant and media commentator.

The returns were first made available Wednesday night by Politico.