Romney Tells Christians He'll Back Israel; Santorum Praises Former Rival

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  • Mitt Romney on Super Tuesday
    (Photo: Reuters/Jessica Rinadli)
    Republican U.S. presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney waves while speaking to supporters at his "Super Tuesday" primary election night rally in Boston, Massachusetts, March 6, 2012.
By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor
June 17, 2012|7:56 am

Mitt Romney addressed a group of Christian conservatives on Saturday, saying he would reverse President Barack Obama's policy on Israel, which is dominated by the fear that the Jewish country might attack Iran. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee also backed other conservative social issues, and received support from former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

"I think, by and large, you can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite," The Associated Press quoted Romney as telling an audience of about 250 Christian conservatives from the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

"You look at his policies with regards to Iran," the former Massachusetts governor went on to say, speaking by satellite from Cornwall, Pa., to the conference in Washington, D.C. "He's almost sounded like he's more frightened that Israel might take military action than he's concerned that Iran might become nuclear."

Romney, who was in Pennsylvania on the second day of his six-state, five-day bus tour, said he was for forging a strong working relationship with the leadership in Israel. "I would make it very clear that for us, as well as for them, it is unacceptable for Iran to become a nuclear nation and that we're prepared to take any and all action to keep that from happening."

The Republican presidential candidate also said countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to arm "the insurgents" in Syria's civil war.

"But perhaps overarching is this: I would not want to show a dime's worth of distance between ourselves and our allies like Israel," he added. "If we have disagreements, you know, we can talk about them behind closed doors. But to the world, you show that we're locked arm in arm."

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Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt defended the president's record on Israel. He claimed Obama had given Israel more security assistance than his predecessors and supported Israel at the United Nations.

Romney also criticized Obama's contraception mandate, which requires religious organizations, including the Catholic Church, to provide contraceptive coverage to its employees. "The decision by the Obama administration to attack our first freedom, religious freedom, is one which I think a lot of people were shocked to see," he said.

Romney cited former rival Santorum's three "best predictors" for happiness and financial success: be married, graduate from high school and get a job.

Later on Saturday, the former Pennsylvania senator praised Romney. Speaking to the coalition conference, Santorum said he appreciated Romney's speech because it "hit all the points," and had "no doubt" he recognizes the "centrality of family."

Santorum added that he thought Romney would track toward the middle. "But I'm not seeing that. I'm seeing him stand by the convictions he had during the primaries."

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