Santorum subs for Rubio at conservative Christian event
© Greg Nash

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) will step in for Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: Supreme Court takes up Apple case | Senate votes to block ZTE deal | Officials testify on Clinton probe report | Russia's threat to undersea cables | Trump tells Pentagon to create 'space force' | FCC begins T-Mobile, Sprint deal review Feehery: Betting on Trump Senate votes to block Trump's ZTE deal MORE on Thursday night to help court conservative Christian voters ahead of the South Carolina GOP presidential primary.

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Santorum, who dropped out of the presidential race after the Iowa caucuses and endorsed Rubio, will act as a surrogate for the Florida senator at the Carolina Values Summit.

Presidential candidates were invited to address pro-family values and discuss civil-rights issues.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMcCain calls on Trump to rescind family separation policy: It's 'an affront to the decency of the American people' Cruz announces bill to end separation of immigrant families The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Furor grows over child separation policy MORE (R-Texas) and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson are both attending the summit in South Carolina ahead of the GOP primary on Feb. 20.

Santorum, the 2012 Iowa caucus winner, failed to break out of the current GOP field, but has a long history appealing to evangelical voters. His support could be a boon for Rubio, who has been competing for a spot in the establishment lane as he seeks to make inroads with the conservative voter bloc.

A day after the endorsement, Santorum struggled to name an accomplishment during Rubio’s tenure in the Senate and pivoted to blaming President Obama for there being few achievements in Congress.

After a strong performance last week in Iowa, Rubio had a disappointing fifth-place finish in New Hampshire amid criticism over his debate performance and is hoping to bounce back.

Cruz, the winner of the Iowa caucuses, whose core constituency is made up of social conservatives, currently sits in second place in Palmetto State polls, while Rubio follows him in third place. Carson, who is also hoping to court these voters, trails behind them in fifth place.