Rick Santorum at CPAC

This morning former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and gave a very solid speech. Mounting the stage with his whole family, he was energetic and in good spirits.

The following are the main points from his address if you’d rather read than watch the video.

  • We’re not the Von Trapp family and we’re not going to sing… also not going to tell any jokes (his introducer said, “a liberal and a moderate walk into a bar and the bartender says, ‘hi Mitt’)
  • Attended a lot of CPACs over the years, I’ve said in the past Conservatism did not fail the country, conservatives failed conservatism
  • Too many have abandoned principles and values to ‘get things done’ and ‘win’…I’m hearing those same things today.
  • We are being told we have to compromise — but I think we’ve learned our lessons and we will no longer abandon our principles which made this country great for a hollow victory in November.
  • We’re not just wings of the Republican Party — we ARE the Republican Party
  • We know each other, we’ve worked together — knowing the people, who they are and what they stand for is important. As President we will surround ourselves with people who share our values, who understand the principles that made this country great.
  • Election isn’t just about jobs; put forth an economic plan that the Wall Street Journal called ‘for the working man’…I want to create opportunities for everyone — from very poor to rich
  • Important to tackle debt that is crushing our country and our children, it’s an immoral debt.
  • Rick promises to balance the budget in 5 years and will spend less money than the year before — no more ‘cuts in the rate of growth’ (much applause on this)
  • Election is about principles; vision of who we are as Americans because that’s what is at stake.
  • This election about what kind of country we’re going to leave to the next generation. Are we going to still be a country that believes our rights don’t come from government or from a higher authority?
  • The current administration thinks they (government) can give you rights…the ‘right’ to health care in Obamacare.
  • But when government gives you rights, it can take away those rights. When it gives you rights, it can determine how you can exercise those rights and what you must do. And government will own you — you will have to do what they say in order to get medical care for your children.
  • Margaret Thatcher said she couldn’t do what Reagan did because of the British National health care system…
  • The Catholic Church is now being told what it must do, that it must pay for something that costs only a few dollars. That’s not what ‘insurance’ is for, to pay for everything, even minor expenses.
  • This isn’t just about contraception, it’s about economic liberty — government control of your lives and it’s got to stop.
  • This isn’t the only place Pres. Obama has tried to control your lives — the left likes to use your sentimentality. We are stewards of this earth and have an obligation to be good stewards. They used this with the politicization of science and ‘man-made global warming’ with Obama’s efforts to get control of our energy production. Their control will destroy the economy.
  • Need affordable energy and this administration has attacked us with cap-and-trade and global warming, now they’re going after hydro-fracking. We’ve done this for years in Pennsylvania…about 700,000-800,000 such wells in the U.S. but now this is a ‘scare you’ effort to stop the energy.
  • We’re not going to win because the candidate has the most money to beat up on their opponent.
  • Pres. Obama will have more money, no matter who the nominee is.
  • Will take someone with vision and contrast to go up against the failed policies of Obama
  • Who has the ability, contrast, strong record? (crowd says ‘you’)
  • On Obamacare, who has record of supporting health savings accounts, tort reform and bottom up reform vs. who has supported the step-child of Obamacare? Someone who would give away the issue of government control of your health?
  • Who would be better at defending your ability to determine what kind of lights to turn on in your home? Someone who supports man-made global warming or someone who will defend your liberty?
  • Who provides the clear contrast of free people and free markets versus government control? We’re going to win with clear contrast, principles and making the failed policies of Barack Obama the focus of this race
  • In 2010, we won because Conservatives rallied over the contrast our candidates presented. when it comes to winning moderates, why would they support someone the party isn’t excited about?
  • Excitement for our candidate will pull moderates to us
  • Rights come from God and we’ve documented that in our Declaration of Independence. The how of America is in our Constitution, but the why of American is in the Declaration. The one job of government is to protect those rights so YOU can build your family, community, businesses, etc…
  • At the close of the Declaration, the Founders said that they ‘pledge lives, fortune, sacred honor.’ We’re not asking you to pledge your lives, grateful for military who does that on our behalf… not asking for fortune, but you can donate a piece of that fortune (laughter)
  • We’re asking for your honor, for you to put your honor on the line.
  • We are stewards of a great inheritance and it is our responsibility to shepherd that inheritance to our future. You are blessed to live in a time when America needs you.
  • Please, walk out of this gathering, choose the candidate you believe is the right person to lead this country, not just to victory but to the way you believe our duty needs to be done.

Mr. Santorum left the stage to rousing applause. One might say that quite a lot of this conservative audience found Mr. Santorum to be an able spokesman for them.

One last thing of interest to note about Rick’s speech was his introduction. As he introduced Rick to the audience, millionaire investor Foster Friess delivered a cruel slap to Rick’s opponent, Mitt Romney.

“There’s a little bar a couple doors down,” Friess began, “and recently a conservative, a liberal, and a moderate walked into the bar. The bartender says, ‘Hi Mitt!’”

Ouch.

All in all, Santorum was very well received by this conservative crowd.

(Thanks to Maggie Thurber for help with the Santorum speech.)

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