He was the man on stage Tuesday night, beaming in the glow of Rick Santorum's three-state sweep. He stood just behind the candidate himself–a spot often associated with close advisers or family members. Who was this man? Meet Foster Friess, a Christian millionaire who uses his money to support what he calls "founding father" values–and candidates like Santorum.
Friess' presence on stage was immediately noticed by CNN's Erin Burnett, who described Friess as a "big investment banker" who's donated nearly half of the $730,000 Santorum's super PAC has raised. Burnett also questioned whether Friess' presence at the candidate's side raises doubts about the supposed wall dividing campaigns and the super PACs that support them.
Asked about that on CNN's Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien Wednesday morning, Santorum said Friess "doesn't run my super PAC. He may be a donor to it, but the person who runs my super PAC, I haven't spoken with in about five months."
Santorum told CNN he and Friess had been friends for 20 years, but their relationship does not include talking about super PACs or strategy. "We don't talk about anything regarding those matters."
Friess tells Burnett "our laywers have told us that you just don't talk about the super PAC...all I did was write a check."
In the interview that airs on Erin Burnett OutFront at 7 and 11 p.m., Friess, who's regularly described as a 'billionaire,' says he's not sure where that idea came from, describing his wealth as far less. "I guess you could call me a billionaire wannabe."