McConnell: 'Nice Family Fight' of Primaries Over, Time to Unify to Take Senate

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said the GOP is at a “crisis point” because its message over the past three decades has become “a little stale and out of step with where America’s problems are.”

“We’re a movement that continues to focus on issues that are not as relevant to average Americans as they used to be,” he said.

In his speech, Santorum argued that the Republican Party needs to fight for what he called the nation’s most basic economic units, families, by reforming welfare programs and investment in American manufacturing. He stressed the need to appeal to the so-called “blue collar conservatives” – a point he also emphasizes in his recently released book of the same name.

“As a movement we have not been connecting with the people who are hurting in this country and providing them a message and a plan for them to embrace and live the American dream,” Santorum said. “If you listen to the message that we’ve been delivering, it’s all about the business owner, it’s all about the corporation, it’s all about Wall Street. It’s not about average working Americans.”

He urged members of his party to shift their focus more toward helping families and workers.

“The conservative movement is no longer the movement of the corporate boardroom or the country club,” Santorum said. “The vast majority of our supporters are people who hold traditional values like you and they’re not business people – they’re workers.”

He also warned that the GOP will have a tough time in the elections “if people don’t think we care about them.”

“Sixteen percent of Americans say that the Republican Party is compassionate,” Brooks said. “Sixteen percent. What was the only piece of data you needed to call the 2012 presidential election? ‘Who cares more about people like you?’ That was all you needed, because it went two to one for Obama. …We have to turn that around.”