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Romney defends faith, family values at conservative summit
Former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Credit: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Credit: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0).
By Michelle Bauman

.- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reaffirmed his commitment to faith, life and marriage and vowed to uphold American values at a conference in the nation's capital.

“The presidency is more than a public office,” he said. “It is a sacred trust.”

Romney addressed a crowd gathered at Marriott Wardman Park on Feb. 10 for the Conservative Political Action Conference. He later beat out his GOP competitors to win the conference’s straw poll.

After losing three state races to Rick Santorum on Feb. 7, Romney has been recovering momentum with a recent victory in Maine.

During his remarks at the summit, the former governor of Massachusetts described how his grandfather came to America “for a chance at religious liberty and economic opportunity,” said that faith and family are the values that “have shaped my life.”

He said that his record during his years in office illustrate his continuing commitment to these values.

Romney explained that he vetoed a bill that would have allowed for “cloning and embryo farming,” as well as one that would have given young girls access to abortion-inducing drugs.

He also said that he worked to promote abstinence education in public schools and recalled how he fought to defend marriage when the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex 'marriage.'

“I pushed for a stay of the decision, fought for a marriage amendment to our constitution, and successfully prohibited out-of-state couples from coming to our state to get married and then go home,” he explained. 

He added that he supported the Catholic Church’s conscience rights by defending Catholic adoption programs that placed children only in homes with both a mother and a father. 

Romney said that these same values would shape his policy decisions as president of the United States.

He said that he would use the first day of his presidency to reinstate the Mexico City policy, which prohibits federal funding of international groups that promote or perform abortions.

He noted that he would also cut federal funding of Planned Parenthood, as well as the United Nations Population Fund, which supports China’s coercive one-child policy.

The GOP hopeful said that as president, he would work to preserve the Defense of Marriage Act and to promote a federal amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

He vowed to overturn the health care overhaul promoted by the current administration and to “reverse every single Obama regulation that attacks our religious liberty and threatens innocent life.”

Romney emphasized the importance of the 2012 election, which he described as “a defining moment” and “a battle for the soul of America.” 

“I believe this is a moment that demands we return to our basic values and first principles,” he said.

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