Santorum: 'You want a fighter you can trust'
© Greg Nash

Former Sen. Rick Santorum urged Christian conservative voters to remember his years of work on conservative issues and back his presidential bid, while the majority of GOP voters have flocked to political outsiders or fresh faces.

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“You want a fighter you can trust, go with a fighter who you trusted,” he said Friday morning during a speech at the conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington.

“Every major piece of pro-life legislation passed in the last 20 years, I was the author of and I led the fight on the floor of the Senate.”

Santorum bashed the majority of the GOP field on same-sex marriage, noting that 10 of the 14 major Republican candidates have said that people must respect the law of the land now that the Supreme Court granted a national right to gay marriage this summer.

“Oh, it’s time to move on when the Court acts unconstitutionally?” he asked sarcastically.

“If you are not willing to fight for the Constitution, for the First Amendment and for the American family, then why are you running for president as a Republican?”

The former Pennsylvania senator was GOP runner-up for the 2012 nomination, winning 11 states before bowing to Mitt Romney. But that success hasn’t translated to a strong showing this go-round — Santorum is at 13th in RealClearPolitics’ average of recent polling and has missed the prime-time debate in both GOP debates.

While Santorum enjoyed a strong applause from the conference attendees, at least one member of the crowd highlighted his struggle to gain serious traction in the race.

“You have to make a decision, who are you going to support, who are you going to trust, who has the right vision?” he said to the crowd.

An attendee shouted in response, "Ted Cruz," the Texas senator who has won the summit's straw poll for each of the last two years, as the audience chuckled.