Rick Santorum stepped up to the podium at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference this morning and delivered an impassioned argument for the Republican Party to become the party of the working class. Rather than joining many of his fellow speakers in bashing President Obama or Hillary Clinton, Santorum set out his vision for the future of the GOP. The platform he created, and the pointed jab he made at Mitt Romney, seemed like early preparation for a 2016 bid. His decision not to preach to the choir, however, left his speech with a subdued reception—cordial, but hardly enthusiastic.
“We are a party, we are a movement, that continues to focus on certain issues that I believe are—well—not as relevant as they used to be,” Santorum said. Referring not only to Wall Street and big corporations, Santorum was also critiquing the Republican emphasis on small businesses and business owners, and questioned the widespread conservative rejection of President Obama’s “You didn’t build that.” The populist conservatives at the conference sat in silence as they listened to the laborer’s populism Santorum was advocating.