(CNN) - Mitt Romney's speech to a gathering of social conservatives on Saturday was tailored to major issues discussed at the conference - family and freedom - but he found his applause lines when he hit President Barack Obama's handling and remarks on the economy.
"The president the other day in a speech said that he wants to make sure every American has a fair shot, and somehow he was suggesting that that's not something I want to do, or the Republicans want to do. Of course we want to see every American have a fair shot, I agree with him about that," Romney said.
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"This president is not giving the American people a fair shot," he continued. "To the middle class folks that are losing jobs that have dropped out of the workforce, they're not getting a fair shot. If people want a president that will give the middle class of America a fair shot, they're going to vote for me, and I hope you do."
Obama has argued - including at a campaign event this month in Baltimore - that while the economy remains fragile, "we have come too far to abandon the change that we fought for these past four years."
"And if you agree with me," Obama said on Thursday in Cleveland, "if you believe this economy grows best when everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules - then I ask you to stand with me for a second term as President."
Romney did not attend the annual Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing in person, as he was in Pennsylvania on day two of a multi-state bus tour. But he spoke live via satellite to what organizers said was an audience of approximately 1,500.
In his prepared remarks, the presumptive Republican nominee detailed what he said are the anchors of American public life: family, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence.
But the questions, which organizers said were submitted by conference attendees, were primarily focused on economics, including the national debt.
"It will keep growing under this president, and so that debt is going to be passed on to young people that did not get a chance to vote up or down, don't even understand the impact that this will have on their lives," he said. "It's unthinkable, it’s bad economics, and it’s immoral."
Romney was favorably mentioned one of his former competitors for the GOP presidential nomination. Santorum, speaking about a half-hour later, offered some of his warmest words towards Romney since their heated primary battle, saying his "speech was right on.”
Some social conservatives were skeptical of Romney's pro-life position or Mormon religion during the primary season. Santorum won a straw vote of conducted at a January meeting of many high-profile social conservatives.
But Santorum signaled on Saturday that he has moved past his own doubts of the former Massachusetts governor, and Romney delivered a speech critical of the Obama Administration's handling of faith issues.
"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, referring to the January announcement of a rule requiring employers to include contraceptive coverage without a co-pay in their health coverage. Republicans and many religious groups, including the Catholic Church, have protested the rule because it does not exempt religious institutions, including churches, colleges, and charities.
"There's no question that economic freedom has been attack by this administration in many ways," Romney continued, citing the nation debt, healthcare reform, tax policy, and the size of government.
Others, including anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, who spoke Friday evening, have delivered similar messages at the conference.
Several Republicans rumored as possible vice presidential picks also attended and spoke, including Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Rand Paul of Kentucky.