Texas Gov. Rick Perry used his speech at America’s largest evangelical University on Wednesday to connect with young evangelical Christians, abandoning the harsh political rhetoric of the 2012 campaign thus far in favor of a more faith-based message.

Perry said Americans need more Christian values in general. “It is important that [Christian leaders] stand in the pulpit every day and defend those values, those Christian values,” Perry said. “America is going to be guided by some set of values. The question is going go to be: Whose values?”

The Texas governor said he believes America will be guided by “the Christian values that this country was based upon.”

Brendan Madigan, a student from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, drove all the way to Lynchburg, Va., to hear Perry and said it was well worth it. Madigan is the chairman of a Pro-Perry group of North Carolina students. “Governor Perry — you look at what he’s doing in Texas — great job creation, they’ve created more jobs in Texas than in the other 49 states combined. That’s what students are looking for.”

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