The Ticket

Mitt Romney invokes Rick Santorum in taped address to Values Voter Summit

Chris Moody, Yahoo News
The Ticket

WASHINGTON—Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney invoked his former challenger Rick Santorum on Friday when he addressed by taped audio message the Values Voter Summit, an annual conference organized by the socially conservative Family Research Council.

"We need a president who shares our commitment to conservative principles and our respect for traditional values," Romney said in the video, which played near the end of the day's program. "We will uphold the sanctity of life, not abandon it or ignore it, and we will defend marriage, not try to redefine it."

Reiterating a message he has often shared with evangelical and predominantly socially conservative audiences since the end of the Republican primaries, Romney touted a line Santorum used at nearly every stop on the campaign trail during his failed presidential run. Santorum has been a regular attendee of the Values Voter Summit's annual meeting.

"We need a president who understands that we will not have a strong economy unless we have strong communities and strong families," Romney said. "This isn't conjecture or some quaint belief. It is evidenced by a Brookings Institution study that Sen. Rick Santorum brought to my attention some time ago. For those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job and wait until they're 21 before they're married and then have their first child, the probability that they will be poor is two percent. ... In short, culture matters."

Romney's running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, spoke to the gathering earlier Friday. Romney addressed the conference in person in 2011.

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