Santorum urges GOP rivals to be 'careful' about tough foreign policy talk
November 16th, 2011
04:02 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum urges GOP rivals to be 'careful' about tough foreign policy talk

Bettendorf, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum chided his GOP rivals Wednesday and urged them to be "careful" about their sharp-tongued foreign policy rhetoric.

In a debate about national security issues last weekend, several Republican candidates - including Texas Gov Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich - proposed eliminating United States aid payments to Pakistan, where state intelligence forces have been linked to terrorists, if the government is not fully in line with American interests.

Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator who served on the Armed Services Committee, took a different tack in the debate, arguing that Pakistan "must be our friend" because they have nuclear weapons that might fall into hostile hands.

Speaking to reporters before touring Scott Community College in the eastern Iowa city of Bettendorf, Santorum admitted that political campaigns lend themselves to "a little hyperbole."

But, he said, "the president has pretty broad authority" in the realm of international relations.

"So when you make those kind of claims, these are things that the Congress can't necessarily check," he said. "The way you deal with Pakistan, the president has broad authority about that."

"You have to be very, very careful in making these kinds of statements as to how it's going to reflect upon our ability to purse the national security interests of our country," he added.


Filed under: 2012 • Foreign Policy • Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Al-NY,NY

    Those chicken hawks are purposefully undercutting the President's ability to deal with foreign governments with this inflammatory talk.

    November 16, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. The Greedy Old Pigs are insane!

    You know the GOBP deathcult has jumped the shark/gone off the rails/bit the big one when Rick Santorum is your voice of reason.

    November 16, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    from the article:
    Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum chided his GOP rivals Wednesday and urged them to be "careful" about their sharp-tongued foreign policy rhetoric.
    -----------–
    He's right. It makes sense, which is exactly why former Sen. Santorum will be blasted by his political rivals. Romney was freely discussing taking a pre-emptive strike against Iran if diplomatic channels do not suceed, which is exactly where we apparently are today. The Iranians do not care if a Republican candidate said it, and not the POTUS. As long as it comes out of the mouth of American politician to grand, enthusiastic applause, that's all they need.

    November 16, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. NC

    Some Republicans like Romney who want to attack Iran should be very careful. Some of us that do the fighting are the ones sacrificing our lives and our loved ones.

    November 16, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. sonny chapman

    He only mentioned Pakistan when Iran is the country that Mitt said we should attack, without any of his 5 sons leading the charge. Is Sanatorium getting any $ from Pakistan ?

    November 16, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Pete

    I'm agreeing with Santorum. Dear God, take me now.

    November 16, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Those chicken hawks are purposefully undercutting the President's ability to deal with foreign governments with this inflammatory talk
    ========================================================================================
    Really??? Sure it isn't all the leaks under Obama and his willingness to throw our allies under the bus at the first opportunity???

    November 16, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Bob

    Santorum needs to get his goofy butt back in the Klown Kar where he came from.

    November 16, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Country Above Parties

    Ladies and gentlemen, in the blue corner we have Obama, the smart, reasoning, balanced, well-spoken, ever-hard-working The POTUS. In the red corner we have a bunch of clowns, not-so-smart, unreasoning, idologies, for-the -rich-only Repubrican presidnetial contenders...

    November 16, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. MTATL67

    I saw that debate. Those of them that said they would go to war with Iran have not stopped by and talked with someone who lost a loved one. They have not stopped by the VA hospital and talked with the service member who left their leg back in the desert. What they are really saying is that they are willing to send our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters to their deaths and destabilize a whole region and for what. It is scary and shocking how with such ease these candidates talk about sending Americans to their deaths.

    November 16, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    "You have to be very, very careful in making these kinds of statements as to how it's going to reflect upon our ability to purse the national security interests of our country," he added."

    This is one time I absolutely agree with Rick Santorum. Instead of showing off their "big boy" pants, this group needs to bring their "diplomatic" hats to the debates. Surely those who profess they are qualified to become the next President of the United States ought to understand the need for bipartisan diplomacy, especially during fully televised debate - and the very real need for "grown up" talk, not shoot 'em up cowboy rhetoric which amuses themselves, and most likely our enemies as well? If not, they have no business even attempting to become the worlds next leader.

    November 16, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Phil in KC

    Pretty surprising that Rick Santorum has to be the voice of reason on this issue. Goes to show how extreme some of these candidates are.

    November 16, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. CoJo

    the republicans do not care about their "tough talk" from a long term point of view. As long as they get to the WH, then they will worry about the damage the did (and may never be able to repair). They are so short sightedness...

    November 16, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |