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Presidential Candidates Claim Ignorance on Foreign-Made T-Shirts

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican presidential candidates are pitching plans to revive the economy, selling a message of jobs and growth. But when it comes to what they are buying, ABC News found that four of the eight candidates ABC News investigated are selling merchandise made overseas.

Campaign T-shirts for Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Herman Cain were all made outside the United States.

Some of Gingrich's T-shirts were made in El Salvador. When he was shown the shirt and asked for an explanation, Gingrich deflected responsibility.

"I didn't order it. I didn't do it," he said. "I have to ask the folks that ordered this."

A spokesman for Gingrich's campaign told ABC News that the shirts were a rush order mistake and that it's the campaign's preference to buy American.

ABC News also caught up with Cain who, like Gingrich, claimed ignorance.

"No, I wasn't aware it was made in Honduras," Cain said. "I was just aware it was Fruit of the Loom... which is an American company."

Santorum and Paul used the opportunity to make political statements.

"It's tragic that so many products in this country are made outside of this country," said Santorum. "You probably can find a T-shirt occasionally made here in the United States...but it's harder and harder to do."

Paul was unapologetic that his campaign's T-shirts were made in El Salvador.

"I wasn't aware of it...but I wouldn't change it," said Paul. "I would argue the case that the market should determine it."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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