Santorum: Romney ‘solid’ on social conservative issues

One-time GOP presidential contender and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum on Saturday told conservative voters that Mitt Romney's message on social issues was "solid," vouching for his one-time rival before a gathering of social conservative voters.

"I've talked to Gov. Romney, and I have no doubt, and I mean this in all sincerity, I have no doubt he understands the centrality of family. He understands the importance of family for our culture, for our economy, and for our future," Santorum said at the Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington, D.C., according to media reports.

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Santorum told conference attendees that he would be "working with" Romney to help the presumptive GOP nominee in his general election fight against President Obama.

Santorum, who is a favorite of social conservative voters, battled Romney in a drawn-out GOP primary race, appealing to the party's base and claiming Romney was not conservative enough to draw distinctions against Obama.

After leaving the race, Santorum continued to express concerns about Romney’s commitment to conservative principles. He eventually backed the former Massachusetts governor in an email to supporters sent late at night, a move many Republicans saw as a lukewarm endorsement.

But in his Saturday address, Santorum offered warm words for his one-time rival, saying he was heartened that Romney had stuck to conservative principles after pivoting from the primary to the general election contest.

"The concern I had … was that Gov. Romney would track to the middle as so many Republican candidates have done," he said, according to reports. "But I'm not seeing that. I'm seeing him stand by those convictions that he articulated in the primaries and I'm hopeful."

In his address, Santorum urged social conservatives to remain engaged in the political process. “I know many of you social conservatives feel like the Republican Party has put you in the back of the bus, and the Democratic Party won’t even let you get near the bus,” he said, according to The Washington Post.

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