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At CPAC, Santorum casts self as true conservative

By Kasie Hunt

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Feb. 10 2012 9:40 a.m. MST

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, joined by his family, waves after speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012. He is joined by his wife Karen at right. His wife Karen stands at his side at right.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — Rick Santorum is telling conservatives he's the only Republican presidential candidate who shares their values and implicitly attacking rival Mitt Romney as a moderate.

Speaking Friday at a gathering of conservative activists in Washington, the former Pennsylvania senator cast himself as the candidate who will allow true conservative voters to keep the "honor" and stay true to their principles.

Santorum didn't mention Romney by name, but he implicitly and repeatedly attacked the former Massachusetts governor for holding moderate positions. He hit Romney for comments about the poor and said Romney is simply the candidate with "the most money to beat up their opponent and win the election."

Santorum won nominating contests in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri this week, and is fighting to become the chief conservative alternative to Romney.

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