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Remarks by Rick Santorum at the Republican National Convention

Published: Monday, Aug. 31 2015 3:20 a.m. MDT

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (J. Scott Applewhite, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (J. Scott Applewhite, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

TAMPA, Fla. — Conservative Rick Santorum says that under President Barack Obama, the dream of freedom and opportunity has become a "nightmare of dependency" with almost half of America receiving some government benefit.

Santorum said that when his grandfather and father immigrated and began working in the U.S., the only government benefit they received was freedom. That freedom, he said, has faded under the president.

"It's no surprise that fewer and fewer Americans are achieving their dreams," Santorum said. "More and more parents are concerned that their children won't realize theirs."

The president spent four years and borrowed $5 trillion to convince the American people that he can make things better for the American people, and it resulted in massive debt, anemic growth and millions more unemployed, Santorum said.

Santorum brought up social issues, saying that if Americans graduate from high school, work hard and get married before having children, they'll only have a two percent chance of ending up in poverty. He cited three rungs on the ladder of success: family, a solid education and hard work. He rapped President Obama for weakening the work requirements for welfare.

Romney's former political foe also brought up abortion, saying, "I thank God that America still has one party that reaches out their hands in love to life up all of God's children, born and unborn."

The former Pennsylvania senator was among Romney's fiercest foes during the GOP primaries, hammering away at the GOP nominee's conservative credentials. Now Santorum says the priority is to beat Obama in the fall. Santorum's convention speech was aimed at boosting Romney's appeal among the party's conservative base.

Santorum concluded his speech saying that Americans are stewards of a great inheritance and have a chance to vote for life and liberty, not dependency.

"America is the greatest country in the world," Santorum said. "With God's help and good leadership, we can restore the American dream."

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