April 20, 2014

Santorum says threat of terrorism not subdued

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum – a likely 2012 Republican candidate for president — says Osama bin Laden’s death does not mark the end of the war on terror.  

“Hopefully the lesson learned is that diligence does pay off and that this war is not over and the threat has not been subdued,” Santorum says. 

Santorum warns Afghanistan would again become a sort of “safe haven” for terrorists if the U.S. military leaves before Afghanistan’s central government is stable.

“One of the things we’ve learned is that when you have – particularly in the Muslim world – when you have failed states that can be occupied by religious fanatics, you create an atmosphere for bad things to happen not just around that region but in our country,” Santorum says. 

While Santorum praises “all those involved” in the “triumph” of killing bin Laden, Santorum says it doesn’t mean President Obama will be invincible in the 2012 election. According to Santorum, Obama has made the U.S. less safe by the way he’s handled Egypt, Iran, Libya, and Syria.

“As we saw in 1992, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ is a very important and, I think, appropriate way the American public looks at these situations,” Santorum says. “It’s not what you’ve accomplished – that’s certainly a factor – but ‘What are you doing?’ and ‘What will you do?’ that’s much more important.”

In 1991, severals Democrats decided against challenging then-President George H.W. Bush who was riding a wave of massive popularity for the way he’d conducted the Gulf War.  The country went into a recession, however, and Bush wound up losing to Bill Clinton who made “what have you done for me lately?” the focus of his campaign. 

Santorum is giving speeches in Iowa City, Pella and Sioux Center today, part of The Family Leader’s presidential lectures series. He made his comments during a telephone interview with Radio Iowa.