Endorsements gained Tuesday from two Iowa social conservative leaders show he is recognized as an authentic, consistent conservative, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said at a stop in Davenport.

Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, said the endorsements by Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Iowa Family Leader, and Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, show that he is the best contrast to President Barack Obama.

Even though the Family Leader as a group did not endorse any of the candidates for the GOP nomination, Santorum did not see that as a slight.

"I look at it as them being leaders of the Family Leader," he said. "Six of one, half dozen of the other."

Santorum stumped at Genesis Medical Center, East Rusholme Street, during one of the hospital's periodic candidate forums, drawing about 75 supporters.

He took the opportunity to hammer the Health-Care Reform Act, saying it creates a "phony economy" and that the United States is "on a path to government-run health care."

"The plan was designed to do what is best for society," he said. "It has nothing to do with you.

"Obamacare is the ultimate and final abdication of the principles that made this country the greatest in the world," he said.

He decried the regulation of the health care system and called Americans "lousy consumers" because they don't know the costs of procedures and doctor visits, "then we come to a town hall meeting and ask why our rates went up."

Santorum called for more transparency so patients know the costs of treatment, better competition and getting consumers more involved in the purchase of health insurance.

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He also hammered Obama, saying the president's term has been filled with efforts to make the country more secular.

"We have a president who thinks America's past is broken," he said. "I see America differently.

"We are a great country because we were endowed by our creator with rights. He gave us those rights to go out and live moral and decent lives because that is what God wants us to do."