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The Post And Courier, Grace Beahm, Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets volunteers who work aboard the USS Yorktown as he makes a stop to speak to supporters on the floating maritime museum, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 at Patriots Point in Charleston, S.C.

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is telling cultural conservatives that he's the candidate who will be the best advocate for the social issues they care most about.

At a gathering of conservatives in Washington — the Values Voters Summit — Perry said that some of his rivals haven't been as committed to fighting against gay marriage and abortion as he has.

He said that for some, "Pro-life is an election year slogan." Perry is one of seven presidential candidates addressing the conference. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum spoke earlier Friday, and three other candidates are speaking later. Perry's chief rival, Mitt Romney, is to speak Saturday.