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Santorum raises welfare, but lacks punch

In a convention with few reminders of the 2012 Republican primary just a few months ago, Rick Santorum brought everyone back.

The former Pennsylvania senator delivered a somber speech that was more about his personal story than a ringing endorsement of Mitt Romney. It hit on many of the same themes he pushed while pursuing his longshot presidential bid, including family values, marriage and abortion. 

Addressing the Republican National Convention, Former Senator Rick Santorum broke from the recurring theme of criticising President Barrack Obama's fiscal policies to emphasize social issues.

In fact, even though Santorum was the first speaker to raise the welfare issue, his allusion to abortion was the best-received line of his speech.

“I thank God that America still has one party that reaches out their hands in love to lift up all of God’s children -- born and unborn -- and says that each of us has dignity and all of us have the right to live the American Dream,” Santorum said to a standing ovation.

On welfare, Santorum, who touted his work on welfare reform in the 1990s, accused the president of trying to “weaken our republic” and acting as if he were “above the law.”

President Obama’s policies undermine the traditional family, weaken the education system,” Santorum said. “And this summer he showed us once again he believes in government handouts and dependency by waiving the work requirement for welfare.

“I helped write welfare reform; we made the law crystal clear -- no president can waive the work requirement. But as with his refusal to enforce our immigration laws, President Obama rules like he is above the law. America take heed, when a president can simply give a speech or write a memo and change the law to do what the law says he can’t, we weaken our republic.”

Of course, the welfare attack has been widely discredited, and there is still a work requirement for welfare. There also was limited crowd reaction to the attack, which has become a mainstay of the Romney campaign on the trail and in millions of dollars in television ads.