Values Voter Summit Kicks Off With Attacks On Gays, Abortion Rights (VIDEO)

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The opening morning of the Values Voter Summit here in Washington followed a predictable script: President Obama and the Democrats in Congress are destroying America, and they’re doing it by making it easier for homosexuals to live openly and for women to exercise their right to choose.

There were attacks on health care, spending and taxes, too, but this is the VVS after all, so the fear of ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the specter of government funding for abortion took center stage in a way not seen at most high-profile Republican events this year.

“Washington is assaulting America’s values,” Mitt Romney told the crowd packed into the ballroom here at the Omni Shoreham hotel. “Values like the sanctity of life and the preservation of marriage.”

You can follow my live coverage of the event here. And watch it live here.Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), as bright a star as ever shown in the conservative constellation this year, took to the stage to slam spending and “Obamacare,” but also took time to lead the attendees through a reading of the Declaration of Independence, which she suggested highlighted Thomas Jefferson’s intention to keep abortion illegal forever.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) — introduced to the audience as “the man who stopped global warming” (but not, you know, in the good way) — spoke at length about all the “problems that will happen” if “you let open gay activity in the military.” He called on attendees to jam Senate switchboards to shutdown the Defense Appropriations bill vote this week. He’s mad as hell about the end of DADT, and from the applause it seems like the crowd was mostly with him.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) the man who’d love to get the attention Bachmann gets from these folks and is doing his best to make that happen, warned the crowd about government support for Planned Parenthood.

“To the people who say they want to cut spending,” he exclaimed, “I say, OK — let’s start with federal funding for abortions here at home.”

The crowd seemed to like that, too.

Expect more of the same — and then some — when the afternoon session kicks off at 2 p.m. ET, with speeches from Rick Santorum, Gary Bauer and (everyone in the crowd and the press corp is excited for this) Christine O’Donnell.

Watch Bachmann deftly stitch the tea party and the moral majority together in her speech. (And be sure to stay tuned for her read-along lesson on the Declaration of Independence.)

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