SHARECOMMENTMORE

By Mike Rush

St. Louis (KSDK) - Republican presidential candidates present and past stopped in St. Louis Friday.

They were speaking to some of the more than 65,000 people in town for the National Rifle Association Convention.

The headliner was Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney, speaking at an event called Celebration of American Values.

Romney spoke for about 30 minutes to an enthusiastic crowd. It is a crowd the candidate is certainly interested in winning over.

The NRA is a powerful, conservative gun lobby with four million or so members nationwide.

Romney says he will restore and protect freedoms he says the Obama Administration has whittled away.

He talked about economic freedom, religious freedom and personal freedoms, like the second amendment's right to bear arms.

"We need a president who will stand up for the rights of hunters and sportsmen and those who seek to protect their homes and their families, President Obama has not, I will," said Romney.

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich also spoke. Former candidates Rick Santorum and Rick Perry also gave speeches.