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Rick Santorum: President Barack Obama waging assault 'on the very soul of America'

TAMPA — Ex-presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Tuesday that President Barack Obama is openly hostile to people of faith and waging an assault "on the very soul of America."

"We have a president who has a view of America that, well, is not consistent with our founders' view of this country. It's not consistent with the values that built the greatest country in the history of the world of limited government, of God-given rights.

"I wish I had a nickel for every time President Obama would go around and tell you everything you have a right to, that government is going to give you," Santorum told Ohio's delegation at a breakfast.

The federal health care law Obama championed, Santorum said, represents an "unprecedented assault on faith in America."

While Mitt Romney is focused tightly on the economy, Santorum — who stumped on social and economic themes during the primary — argued that values and the importance of family can't be overlooked, and that the traditional family is the foundation of the American economy.

After winning 11 primaries, Santorum dropped out of the race in April and endorsed Romney. He spoke to the Republican National Convention on Tuesday evening.

"Yes, this election's about the economy, it's about job creation, it's about health care," he said. "It's about bigger things than that. It's about an assault on religious liberty."

Romney — a man with five sons and more than a dozen grandchildren — Santorum said, would be a president who would protect the American family.

"One of the things that I was most encouraged about Mitt Romney and what he was doing in this campaign, he is talking about the importance of family in the economy. He's talking about the importance of bringing families together, of fathers being in the home and responsible and helping their children," Santorum said.

But those themes have been mostly absent from Romney's stump speeches — both during the GOP primary and the general election, to the chagrin of some grass roots conservatives who hoped he'd take a stronger stand on those issues.

During his brief remarks here, Santorum also looked to quell conservative grumbling about Romney as the Republican nominee, saying definitively that Romney is "running as a conservative," despite the fact that Santorum was one of Romney's harshest critics during the GOP primary process.

"If there's one thing that's really jazzed me up over the past couple of weeks, it's that Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate," Santorum said.

"Mitt Romney is running as a conservative. Mitt Romney is articulating our vision. And if you had any questions, Paul Ryan puts an exclamation point on that."

Speaking to reporters, Santorum resisted criticism that he's focused only on social issues — something that's not the main focus of his party.

"Having a frank conversation about this has nothing to do with same-sex marriage, has nothing to do with abortion. It has to do with the importance of families as the foundational unit of our country and having families that support that. And that's what the message is, it's not social issues," he said.

Rick Santorum: President Barack Obama waging assault 'on the very soul of America' 08/28/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 10:49pm]
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