Neither Mitt Romney nor his wife Ann Romney are expected to attend this weekend's Values Voter Summit – which is hosted by the Christian conservative Family Research Council (FRC) – but Mr. Romney addressed the crowd on Friday through a videotaped message.

“We need a president who shares our commitment to conservative principles and our respect for traditional values,” Romney said in the brief video. “We will uphold the sanctity of life, not abandon or ignore it and we will defend marriage, not try to redefine it.”

The GOP presidential nominee argued that “culture matters” and vowed to protect it.

“In short, culture matters and this president will protect her culture and preserve the values of hard work, personal responsibility, family and faith,” Romney said. “Above all, we must preserve the American spirit of one nation, under God. As president, I'll support the expression of religious faith in the public square.”

Earlier in the day, Romney's running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, echoed similar sentiments in addressing the crowd, and also promised Romney would “defend marriage.”

Ann Romney was invited to speak at the confab but reportedly declined.

BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner reported that Romney's video message was not made available to the press, despite an FRC spokesman's promise to do so “shortly.”

UPDATE: The video was released on Saturday. It is embedded on this page.