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Rick's hat trick

"Rick's hat trick" Continued...

Romney, in 2005, required all Massachusetts hospitals, including Catholic ones, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Paul has largely stayed out of the religious rhetoric, sticking instead to his "cause of liberty" theme.

"We have permitted our government to undermine our liberty for safety and security," Paul said Tuesday night in Minnesota, where his runner-up finish was his best since coming in second behind Romney in New Hampshire. "You never have to sacrifice your liberty if you want to be safe."

But Tuesday was clearly Santorum's night. Just days ago he had claimed he wanted to "endanger" Gingrich. But during his victory speech Tuesday, Santorum looked past Gingrich and took aim at Romney … and then at Obama.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I don't stand here to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney," he said. "I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama."

The crowd erupted in cheers.

Listen to Edward Lee Pitts discuss Rick Santorum's three-state sweep on WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It.

Edward Lee Pitts
Edward Lee Pitts

Lee is WORLD's Washington Bureau chief. As a reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, he was embedded with a National Guard unit in Iraq. He also once worked in the press office of Sen. Lamar Alexander.

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