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Santorum's Appeal to Social Conservatives at CPAC

Santorum's Appeal to Social Conservatives at CPAC

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Just days after three presidential contest wins helped revive his flagging campaign, Rick Santorum made a fresh appeal for GOP support at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday in Washington, D.C.

Santorum didn't throw any specific barbs against LGBT rights in his address to attendees at the annual conference. But the subtext was clear: The candidate described a hypothetical Santorum administration as one founded on the belief that "our rights don't come from our government, they come from a much higher authority."

"We will surround ourselves and this administration with people who share our values," Santorum said.

Those values have been made clear on the campaign trail -- whether by his responses to questions on LGBT rights or via his own unprompted talking points in attempts to secure the social conservative voting bloc.

In an unsurprising move on Tuesday, Santorum denounced the Ninth Circuit's ruling against Proposition 8, saying, "The people of California spoke clearly at the ballot box that they wanted marriage defined in the traditional manner of one man and one woman. And for a court, any court, to usurp the power and will of the people in this manner on an issue this fundamental to the foundation of our society is wrong."

Santorum asserted that the decision was the latest example of a "rogue" judiciary -- and another reason why the Ninth Circuit, which covers nine western states, should be "abolished and split up."

In an obvious reference to Mitt Romney, Santorum urged the Friday CPAC audience not to settle for a candidate who fails to excite the party, and slammed the Obama administration for health care reform as well as its scrutiny of hydrofracking, a contentious environmental issue in Santorum's state of Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the country.

Romney and Newt Gingrich are both scheduled to speak at the conference later today.

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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