Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Santorum Challenges Rivals Religous Freedom Views

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So, by the end of the day, Romney said he agreed with conservative lawmakers on contraception. But as Rick Santorum campaigned in Tennessee, he seized on the confusion.

Here's Blake Farmer of member station WPLN.

BLAKE FARMER, BYLINE: In a press release, the Santorum camp took the opportunity to slam Romney for having a liberal record on freedom of religion. During an event at Nashville's Belmont University, Santorum spoke at length about his own views of religious freedom.

RICK SANTORUM: You have the rights. They're God-given. Government can't give or take anything from you.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

FARMER: At times, Santorum's stump speech was met with boos from hecklers. But he continued to revisit thorny themes like the gap between rich and poor.

SANTORUM: Look here in Nashville. There is great income inequality. Why? Because there are amazing talents in this town that soar and do great things and inspire great things in other people. And they are richly rewarded for it. And there are those who may work just as hard, but they don't succeed for one reason or another.

FARMER: Rally attendee Pam Chaffin says she appreciates how Santorum speaks his mind, especially on social issues such as abortion.

PAM CHAFFIN: You have to admire someone, because it's not politically correct, what he says sometimes. But it is right.

FARMER: Santorum's message is resonating in Tennessee. The most recent polling shows him with a double-digit lead over Romney heading into Super Tuesday.

For NPR News, I'm Blake Farmer in Nashville. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.