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Decker: You made a stunning run for the Republican presidential nomination, winning 11 states. Your candidacy sent a strong message to the Republican establishment that it could not take conservatives for granted. What about your unique message — especially on the social and cultural issues — is vital for the GOP ticket to emphasize in the run-up to the November election?

Santorum: I don’t think my message is unique at all. My message is one that was supported by hundreds of thousands of Americans we met in Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida and dozens of other states during our campaign. It’s a message that, yes, carried the day in 11 states, and was well represented in many more.

A large part of our message is one of strengthening the family and, by doing so, strengthening our economy. A Brookings Institute study in 2009 found that only 2 percent of Americans who work, graduate from high school and get married before having children end up in poverty. What’s more, 77 percent of these Americans are above the national average in income, and 85 percent of those in the top quintile of income in the U.S. are married. But today in America, marriage is declining. In 1960, 72 percent of U.S. adults age 18 and over were married. Today, that rate has dropped to 51 percent. We must spend future decades working to build up traditional families. I commend President Obama for being a good father; but his policies help to undermine fatherhood.

Our message wasn’t just moral and cultural; it was also about the security of our country — economic security and national security. The American people want authenticity and to be told the truth, what the problems are that we face and what our options are for addressing them. Look at Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. He has shown that Americans support politicians who tell the truth even if the truth is hard to hear.

Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. He is coauthor of the new book “Bowing to Beijing” (Regnery, 2011).