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Santorum attacks Obama for waiving welfare work requirement

Video: Rick Santorum’s convention address focused on important family themes — is he now slated to become a top Romney surrogate?

TAMPA, Fla. — Tuesday night, it was hard to believe that a few short months ago, Rick Santorum was Mitt Romney‚??s bitterest foe for the Republican presidential nomination. In addressing a cheering crowd at the Republican National Convention as well as a primetime national television audience, the former Pennsylvania senator clearly demonstrated that the nomination battle is in the past and he is totally committed to the election of onetime rival Romney over Barack Obama.

In embracing Romney, Santorum laid the lash of his convention address on Barack Obama‚??s undermining of ‚??tough love‚?Ě welfare reform — a measure Santorum himself helped write while in Congress, he emphasized. By waiving the work requirement In ‚??workfare,‚?Ě he said, Obama is ‚??acting as if he‚??s above the law.‚?Ě He also invoked his immigrant family‚??s blue-collar background (‚??I‚??m a first generation American‚?Ě) and brought to life his beloved coal-miner grandfather whose only value he brought to America ‚??was freedom.‚?Ě

Contrasting his grandfather‚??s values with Obama‚??s, he spoke of hard work and called for putting America back to work — principles that were staples of his campaign against Romney and which he is now sure to deploy in the fall race against Obama.

‚??If America is going to succeed, we must stop the assault on marriage today,‚?Ě declared Santorum, touching on his signature theme of the family. His loudest ovation came when he said: “I thank God America still has one party that believes in the right to life.”

In contrast to other erstwhile Romney rivals such as Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich, Santorum was given a speaking role at the convention. Given that slot and the ‚??red meat‚?Ě nature of his remarks, the Pennsylvanian is likely to be deployed as a top campaign surrogate for Romney in the weeks ahead.

Before the Pennsylvanian‚??s remarks, longtime Santorum strategist John Brabender told reporters that ‚??(Santorum) contrasts what he believes this country was built on, versus Barack Obama and how the two seemed diametrically opposed.‚?Ě Brabender also said that Santorum wrote 90 percent of the speech himself.

But it was less important what Santorum said in his 14-minute convention address than what he is doing to rally conservative support for his former rival. Wednesday, he will host a ‚??Patriots for Romney-Ryan 2012‚?Ě reception in Tampa that will include a ‚??Who‚??s Who‚?Ě of high-profile conservatives who were formerly skeptical of Romney: among them Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, veteran conservative activist Richard Viguerie, Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum, and the Faith and Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed.

‚??Rick Santorum is the spiritual leader for Republicans,‚?Ě said Shawn Steel, Republican National Committeeman from California and a conservative activist since he was a Teenage Republican for Barry Goldwater in 1964. ‚??His speech tonight underscores the importance of family issues, and protecting welfare reform is a crucial family value.‚?Ě

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Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as ‚??the man who knows everyone in Washington‚?Ě and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what‚??s going on in the nation‚??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ‚??Gizzi on Politics‚?Ě and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ‚??Gizzi‚??s America,‚?Ě video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John‚??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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