In his speech Thursday at CPAC, Rick Santorum spent much of his time describing to the crowd what he believes everyday, blue-collar Republican is feeling. While much of the party as a whole is frightened over the possibility of a Trump nomination, Santorum stressed to CPAC that the blue-collar conservative has been worried about not just the party, but the country for decades.

“They’re seeing the conservative movement, the Republican party potentially being torn up. They’re nervous as all heck as to what they’re going to do,” Santorum said. “Well, now you know how the American public has been feeling over the past ten, twenty, thirty years. ”

Santorum centered his speech around two statistics, one being that 90% of Americans aged 25-65 are working and the other that almost 70% Americans aged 25-65 do not hold a college degree. Bringing back themes similar to his 2012 presidential campaign, Santorum stressed that conservatives among the above groups have significant worries about their jobs, families, and the trajectory of the country since. They have had these concerns since the end of the Reagan presidency afterglow.

These people, Santorum says, have for years put their faith in a party that has failed to produce results tangible to them. 

On the popularity of the Donald Trump campaign said the following:

 “There’s a lot of anxiety in Washington, but there are a lot of people in America who are cheering because at least someone sounds like – and I don’t think is – but sounds like they’re on their side.”

Although Santorum has has personally endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio, he refrained from commenting on specific presidential candidates and instead addressed the way in which all Republican candidates are failing to tailor their message in a way that addresses the challenges most Americans face today.

He emphasized that the best way to communicate conservative principles is by way of a populist language. Whether one calls this populist conservatism or blue-collar conservatism, Santorum insisted this iReagan conservatism. As Ronald Reagan boldly articulated conservative principles, he framed these principles in a way that Americans of all types could relate to.

In other words, the conservative message can no longer only be centered around the need to cut taxes for higher income earners and the need to loosen regulations. These are vital principles, but the public message must instead highlight policies that directly impact these Americans if we wish for them to embrace conservatism. 

This message must speak directly to the people that are struggling. School choice, a fundamentally Republican solution, must therefore be brought to the forefront this election, as it is people on the margins of society that are hurt most by the lack of a quality education. At a time when upward mobility appears all but impossible to many and teachers unions have relinquished little of their power, Americans are in dire need of the ability to make their own choices over education. Over school choice, Santorum lamented that conservatives “are willing to fight and die for certain principles, but not that one. Not the one that effects those who are really hurting and are on the margins.”

Unlike Donald Trump, Santorum made no mention of protectionist economic policies or of tariff proposals. There was no mention of factories in China or Mexico. Instead, he urged candidates to talk about the America’s prior manufacturing revolution but offered no policies or message specific to tho the outsourcing of manufacturing.

Last, but most importantly, Santorum insisted the family must be the centerpiece of populist conservatism. Republicans and candidates, he said, “must address the reality of the breakdown of this critical institution.”