Washington, DC, United States (AHN) – The top three Republican presidential candidates all tried to convince fellow conservatives Friday that they share their values during a meeting in Washington, D.C.
The meeting was called by the Conservative Political Action Conference, a group of the nation’s leading conservatives from politics and industry.
Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum also exchanged criticisms of each other.
About the only thing they agreed upon was that they wanted to make certain President Barack Obama was replaced in the next election by a Republican.
Romney suggested the Republican strategy focus more on explaining how they would lead government rather than spending the campaign trying to criticize Obama and other Democrats.
He also tried to portray himself as someone who would bring fresh insight to the politics-as-usual of Washington.
“I am the only candidate in this race, Republican or Democrat, who has never worked a day in Washington,” he said. “I don’t have old scores to settle or decades of cloakroom deals to defend.”
Among his Republican opponents, Rick Santorum is a former senator and Newt Gingrich is the former Speaker of the House.
Romney is the former governor of Massachusetts.
“I was a severely conservative Republican governor,” Romney told the crowd of conservatives at a Washington hotel.
He mentioned his opposition to gay marriage and his focus on educating young people about abstinence from sex until they are married.
Since last Tuesday, when Santorum won primaries in three states, Romney has shifted more of his criticisms from Gingrich to Santorum.
Until Santorum won Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, Romney was the clear Republican frontrunner.
Santorum reserved most of his criticisms during the conference for Obama. However, he took a swipe at Romney by referring to his health care proposals as similar to Obama’s, which he called “Romneycare.”
Santorum also discussed the Obama administration’s proposal that would require religious institutions to provide their female employees with birth control through their medical insurance.
“It is not about contraception,” he said. “It is about economic liberty. It is about freedom of speech. It is about freedom of religion. It is about government control of your lives and it has got to stop.”
Gingrich accused Obama of trying to “wage war on the Catholic Church.”
He also tried to convince the conservative audience that he was the true conservative candidate for president.
“This is the year to reset the country in a decisive, bold way,” Gingrich said.
His proposals include replacing the regulatory schemes of the Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Department with friendlier rules for industry and repealing Obama’s health care program that would expand coverage to more Americans.
He also took a jab at Obama’s failure to develop the comprehensive immigration reform he promised.
“UPS and Fedex track tens of millions of packages, but the federal government cannot track 11 million illegals, even if they sit still,” Gingrich said.
View full post on All Stories