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Wealthy Wyoming investment fund manager bankrolling pro-Santorum Super PAC

A wealthy Wyoming financier and conservative philanthropist confirmed today that he is one of the principal backers of a new Super PAC that spent more than $530,000 on TV ads in Iowa supporting Rick Santorum and figures to play prominently in South Carolina and elsewhere.

Foster Freiss, the founder of a hugely successful mutual investment fund, told NBC News that he is "one of a number of contributors who have rallied" to the Red, White and Blue Fund, the new super pac supporting Santorum.

He declined to give precise figures on how much he has put into the Super PAC. " I don't dare let my wife know that," he joked, but said he wouldn't object to a report that he was the major financial backer of the Super PAC.

"If I put up a million bucks, it doesnt' compare...to the kind of commitment" the country's Founding Fathers made or American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan make, he said.

Freiss' funding of the Red, White and Blue Fund, which has not yet been publicly disclosed, is the latest example of how wealthy donors are pouring funds into Super PACs to influence the presidential election.

In the days before this week's Iowa caucus, the Red White and Blue Fund began doing a rash of media buys on Iowa TV stations, running ads touting Santorum as a "dedicated defender of the unborn" and "a resolute leader of the fight against radical Islam" ending with the words, "Rick Santorum, a real conservative America can trust."

The Red, White and Blue Fund registered with the Federal Election Commission on Oct. 1, 2011, but is not due to file any reports disclosing its contributors until the end of this month. Christopher Marston, a former Bush administration official, who is listed as Treasurer of the Super PAC, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Freiss, who is based in Jackson Hole, Wyo., is the founder of an investment fund called Freiss Associates, which includes on its website a quote from a Business Week article touting him as "the longest surviving successful growth stock picker."

He has a long history of backing Santorum, having donated $250,000 to a conservative group, Softer Voices, that ran ads on behalf of Santorum during his unsuccessful 2006 reelection campaign. He also has been a major donor to other GOP and conservative causes over the years, having given $250,000 to the Republican Governors Assocation last year as well as pumping a reported $3 million into The Daily Caller, a conservative website run by former MSNBC anchor Tucker Carlson.

Freiss said one of the main reasons he is attracted to Santorum is his positions on national-security issues. "He's incredibly versed in one of the No. 1 issues of our time -- and that is violent Islamic extremism," he said. "And, as a result," he contended, "he'll be able to appeal to the Jewish vote, which last time went 68 percent for Obama."

But he said Santorum's appeal went beyond that because of his working-class roots and ability to work with Democrats in the Senate. When "you wrap the total package, in terms of electability," Freiss boasted, "Santorum will be able to appeal to so many different constituencies -- the blue-collar worker that wants to go back to work, the evangelical commuity, the Jewish commuity, the Catholic community."