A year ago, former presidential hopeful and Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum played up Mitt Romney’s shifting positions by carrying an “Etch A Sketch” toy to his campaign stops.

But there was none of that talk from Santorum Thursday in North Charleston, as Romney enters the final weeks of the campaign against President Barack Obama.

Santorum defended Romney against charges that his positions had drifted to the center. “I honestly don’t see that,” he said. “The tax policy he’s putting forward is the tax policy he put forward in the primary. ... He hasn’t changed.”

Santorum added, “If you wanted someone who was going to be a passionate pro-life warrior, then Mitt Romney is not your guy, but is he going to be a pro-life president? Yeah, I think he will be.”

Santorum briefly dropped by the Lowcountry’s GOP headquarters and talked to a few dozen people.

He and his family are in town for The Citadel’s Parents’ Weekend because his son John is a freshman cadet there.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.