TAMPA — In a speech to the Ohio delegation to the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, unsuccessful GOP candidate Rick Santorum pitched maintaining the family and opposing abortion rights as values that would help the party win in November.
Mr. Santorum assured the Ohio delegation of his support for Mitt Romney, especially with Paul Ryan on the ticket.
He said socially conservative issues are political winners, even though they fell short of propelling him into the party's nomination during a bruising primary election.
"The economic problem in America is not an economic opportunity problem as much as it is a family breakdown problem. We're not being judgmental. We're telling the truth," Mr. Santorum said.
"President Obama talks about how they've expanded the food-stamp rolls. He does that with pride. Why is that a good thing?" Mr. Santorum said, after quoting statistics showing a decline in the number of married people over age 18.
"One of the things I'm most encouraged about Mitt Romney is he's talking about family in the economy, about fathers being in the home, the importance of marriage, the importance of family," Mr. Santorum said.
He criticized the Democratic Party for assigning a convention slot to the leader of Planned Parenthood. The Democratic Party announced Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, as one of its speakers.
Mr. Santorum's pro-family message was not grabbed up either by Ohio Gov. John Kasich or by Ohio U.S. Rep. John Boehner, Speaker of the House.
"That's Rick Santorum, God bless him. But this election's about the economy, period," Mr. Boehner said.
Mr. Kasich said, "Those social issues are important but the overriding moral issue in America today is job creation because that's what makes families successful."
Mr. Santorum was introduced at the morning session by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who said the two of them were close friends and allies on such issues as welfare reform and outlawing partial birth abortion when they were both in the Senate.
Mr, DeWine endorsed Mr. Santorum prior to the March 6 Ohio primary, but has since endorsed Mr. Romney.