Congressional Republicans at their party's national convention trumpeted the GOP's conservative principles Tuesday, with one saying she still believes "character is king."

"Marriage between a man and a woman isn't something Republicans invented, but it is something Republicans will defend," Sen. Elizabeth Dole (search) of North Carolina said. "We value the sacred life of every man, woman, and child. We believe in a culture that respects all human life, including the most vulnerable in our society, the frail elderly, the infirm, and those not yet born."

"Protecting life isn't something Republicans invented, but it is something Republicans will defend," she added.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (search) of Tennessee used his medical background to slam Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (search), saying the Massachusetts senator opposed limiting lawsuits against doctors and hospitals.

"I'll tell you what Sen. Kerry's prescription will be: take a handful of tax increases and don't call me in the morning," said Frist, a heart surgeon.

"Mr. Kerry will empower those who tax you. President Bush will empower those who cure you," Frist added. "John Kerry remains the personal injury lawyers' best friend. George Bush will put the interests of patients, doctors and nurses first."

The GOP holds the Senate by a 51-48-1 margin, while the Republican margin in the House is 229-205-1.

Despite a push toward the middle, Tuesday's speakers made clear that the Republican Party won't leave its conservative roots.

"This Grand Old Party is still guided by a moral compass, it's roots deep in the firm soil of timeless truths," Rep. Anne Northup of Kentucky said. "We still believe that character is king."

Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, one of the Senate's leading social conservatives, confined his remarks to the battle against AIDS, calling HIV/AIDS "one of the greatest moral and humanitarian crises of our time."

"Under President Bush's leadership, we will work to protect every human life," Brownback said.