Romney addresses Faith and Freedom Coalition

June 17, 2012

By Felicia Sonmez, The Washington Post

Appearing via video at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual meeting Saturday morning, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) delivered a speech that hinged on social issues but also focused in on what remains the top issue in the presidential election — the economy.

“If people want a president that will give the middle class of America a fair shot, they’ll vote for me, and I hope you do,” Romney, dressed in a suit and standing in front of his campaign bus in Pennsylvania, told the several hundred social conservatives gathered in Washington for the summit.

In his prepared remarks, Romney spoke of “anchors,” which he said include family and the Constitution.

The national health-care law, he argued “attacks freedoms. Raising taxes attacks freedoms.” And the Obama administration’s decision on contraceptive coverage “attacks our first freedom — religious freedom,” he said.

“All these things impinge upon our freedoms. . . . I think America is stronger when we’re lashed firmly to the anchors that keep us steady,” he said.

At times, he struck a note that bore similarities to the message former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) delivered on the campaign trail.

He told the crowd that his message to young people is to “get married before they have children, because the opportunity for a mom and a dad to help guide the life of a child gives them such an enormous advantage.”

And he noted a 2009 Brookings study that Santorum has been fond of citing. The study, Romney said, shows that if Americans graduate from high school, work and get married before having children, their chance of becoming impoverished is dramatically reduced.

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