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Right Turn
Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 02/10/2012

Santorum hits a home run at CPAC

Rick Santorum was among friends today at CPAC. He told the crowd, “I know you. You know me. We’ve worked in the vineyards together.” The audience ate it up, giving him multiple ovations.

With his wife and several of his children standing behind him, Santorum told the audience at a Washington hotel that they don’t need to “apologize or compromise on the policies that made this country great.” He continued, “We are not a wing of the Republican Party; we are the Republican Party.”

He also touched on precisely what worries conservatives — namely that they’ll be sold down the river once a Republican gets back the White House. Santorum assured the crowd that, in his administration, he will bring in conservative leaders.

He argued that the presidential race is not just about jobs or the debt, saying in bold tones, “It is about fundamental principles. . . . It’s about what kind of country you’re going to leave your kids.” He told the audience what he knows well that they fervently believe: “Rights don’t come from the government. They come from a much higher authority.”

Santorum then sketched out wide differences between him and Mitt Romney. Calling Obamacare a “game changer” for America, he argued that only he could draw bright contrasts on the issue, whereas Romney would “give the issue away.” He likewise made the case that, on global warming, he had fought against cap-and-trade while Romney “bought into” global warming.

In making an ideological argument, Santorum also made a case for electability, saying, “We are not going to win because the Republican candidate has the most money to beat up their candidate.”

He unsurprisingly attacked the president on the HHS contraception mandate. Santorum argued, “It’s not about contraception. It’s about economic liberty. It’s about economic liberty. It’s about freedom of religion. It’s about freedom of religion. It’s about government changing your lives. And it’s got to stop.” This brought the crowd to their feet.

Santorum did what he had to do. He bonded with his fellow conservatives. He will need them and many more like-minded Republicans if he is to beat Romney.

More on CPAC from Right Turn:

An exclusive interview with Santorum

Conservatives need a reality check about what’s attainable.

Santorum’s problematic history with Big Labor.

Marco Rubio comes to CPAC

By  |  12:10 PM ET, 02/10/2012

 
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