February 15th, 2012
03:37 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum to North Dakota: Terrorists 'will bother you'

(CNN) - Rick Santorum warned a quiet North Dakota audience Wednesday that their state's booming oil industry positioned the region as a prime target for terrorism.

"Folks, you've got energy here. They're going to bother you. They'll bother you, because you are a very key and strategic resource for this country," the Republican presidential candidate said. "No one is safe. No one is safe from asymmetric threats of terrorism."

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Santorum pointed to Iran as the source behind future terrorist attacks, ramping up his rhetoric on a country he frequently discusses on the campaign trail.

"That's what Iran will be all about unless we stop them from getting that nuclear weapon," Santorum said.

He specifically cited a recent report from National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who indicated in a Congressional hearing that Iran may be willing to sponsor future attacks on U.S. soil.

His comments came the same day Iran unveiled new developments in its nuclear energy program, including its intent to start production of yellowcake, a chemically treated form of uranium ore used for making enriched uranium.

Santorum largely focused his speech at the Tioga Public School Gymnasium on North Dakota energy production, specifically the area's oil-rich shale rock formation known as the Bakken.

The former Pennsylvania senator pledged to eliminate Obama-era rules and regulations that he claims hold the region back form its full potential in oil production.

He also blasted the president for opposing the controversial Keystone pipeline project, which would run through North Dakota and carry crude oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

"You have a president who's not interested in science. He's interested in politics. Instead of doing something that is in the best interest of creating energy security for our country and economic growth, he plays petty politics and partisan politics and special interest politics," Santorum said.

The appearance was one of three events Santorum was scheduled to hold Wednesday in North Dakota, a state that holds its caucuses on Super Tuesday, March 6.

The state carries 28 total delegates.

Also see:

Gingrich: Santorum 'misunderstands' modern warfare

Santorum slams Obama administration as 'elite snobs'

Romney surrogates attack Santorum's record

CNN Poll: Romney's likability fading

CNN Poll: Gender and income gaps in GOP nomination battle


Filed under: 2012 • Energy • Iran • North Dakota • Rick Santorum
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Aaron

    If they're dealing with oil companies, they've had some practice in dealing with terrorists already.

    February 15, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Fear! – It's what's for dinner at the Santorum house.

    Santorum's logic at work: Terrorists will be attracted to North Dakota's energy resources so the solution is to build a gigantic pipeline/terrorist target. "Moran".

    February 15, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. JP

    How can Rick Santorum be president? His name isn't even safe for schoolchildren to Google.

    February 15, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    1.Aaron

    If they're dealing with oil companies, they've had some practice in dealing with terrorists already.
    ------------------------
    You're soooo right Aaron. I guess, by extension, ALL car owners have had dealings with being taken hostage by these terrorrists.

    February 15, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. GI Joe.

    Fear, hate, and ignorance - all in one holier-than-thou dictator-lile Santorum from the Catholic Church.

    February 15, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "The sky is falling! The sky is falling! And I can't keep you safe!" Pope Santorum.

    February 15, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. GI Joe.

    He's WORSE than Perry. And Dumber too.

    February 15, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. Tired of republican lies

    Here goes the fear mongering...No ideas of improving things, zero..zip..zilch...nada..and we are supposed to take these people seriously?

    February 15, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. GI Joe.

    Fear, propaganda, hate, propaganda, ignorance, propaganda. Is that all he offers?

    February 15, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. TomNPitt

    I'm sure the folks in North Dakota appreciate the attention they will receive now that Ricky Boy has told everyone what a perfect target they are for terrorism!

    February 15, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. Really?

    Santorum, please go sit down somewhere. Thanks.

    February 15, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Ian

    I love how Santorum, whose belief system lies so far from reality that I cry myself to sleep at night thinking about it, implies that he is more scientifically literate than Obama.

    February 15, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Diana

    . "No one is safe. No one is safe from asymmetric threats of terrorism."

    Is that all the Republicans have, FEAR?! How about some ideas other than cutting taxes and regulation? Oh and NO Birth Control!! Yikkes, if this is all they have to offer, get ready for four more years of Obama Republicans!

    February 15, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. John in Brooklyn

    Good grief....the hypocrisy is palpable. The Republicans are claiming that the Democrats play the politics of fear and division – yet the GOP is not above extending the message of "Unless you vote for Santorum, terrorists will attack North Dakota." Mr. Santorum, I work every day in Times Square and was in Manhattan on 9/11....when you are able to convince NY'ers to vote for you THEN you can claim that you are truly demonstrating that you can ease the fear of people who are likely terrorism targets. Until then...it's still amateur hour at the rodeo as far as we're concerned.

    February 15, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. diofderit

    They have Nuclar warheads and air force bases there in ND too Mr. Scary Pants

    February 15, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. Diana

    Rick Santorum warned a quiet North Dakota audience Wednesday that their state's booming oil industry positioned the region as a prime target for terrorism.

    They were probably stunned how how idiotic this man is and couldn't find any words to express how they felt!

    February 15, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Typical fearmongering and pandering to the cowardly sheeple that march lockstep with the GOBP deathcult.

    The US needs to stay our of Syria and Iran. Already gas prices are going up and they'll only skyrocket if this madness continues. Since it will also tank the economy, it won't be at all surprising when the GOBP's neocon deathcult starts really ramping up the fear, lies, hate and ignorance in an attempt to ratchet things up to a breaking point where war breaks out in the ME. In other words, the GOBP is rooting for WW III. In fact, the GOBP's foreign and local neocon backers will profit handsomely from war with Iran while the rest of us get the shaft.

    Remember the GOBP does not care about what the majority of Americans want. They refuse to support the millionaire tax backed by three quarters of America and they will go to war over the objections of three quarters of American. The GOBP deathcult is run by very greedy, selfish, parasitic and bloodthirsty people. You may as well vote for a bunch of serial killers, since that's what their insane wars of choice amount to.

    February 15, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. SilverHair

    Rick is out of it. Stay away from my state. We are happy now. Get lost.

    February 15, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. clyde

    "You have a president who's not interested in science."

    Mr. Frothy claiming someone else does not believe in science. He is an even bigger joke than I thought.

    February 15, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. GI Joe.

    Santorum is an ignorant JERK!

    February 15, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. Patrick

    Wait. Did Santorum say that OBAMA wasn't interested in science but was only interested in politics? That's rich.

    February 15, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. Malory Archer

    Really, little ricky? REALLY???!!! Seriously folks, didn't we have enough of the "be afraid... be very afraid" routine during the first 8 years?

    February 15, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    There they go again. A Republican trying to scare people into voting for them.

    The way I see it, a Republican president didn't get Bin Laden after several years of trying. Bush even joked about not knowing where he was, and wasn't worried. Pres. Obama got Bin Laden during his 27th month in office. Most of the top leadership of Al-Qaeda is gone. Khadaffi is gone. Pirates off of East Africa are less bold, and finally being pursued. More border agents are on the southern border than ever before, and more are being deported at the southern border than ever before.

    Meanwhile, Republicans are tyring to scare people into voting for them. Promising to start war with Iran, not realizing what effect their words have on the Iranian leadership and their strategy.

    February 15, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Len

    The GOP election year stuff: fear.....know we know why he lost by 18 percent in PA senate race....

    February 15, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. bruce

    I read the comments here to see what some think of Rick's comments. I see pleanty of jabs at the Republican party which are largely justified. Most candidates don't have clue one about what to do about the debt, keep us truly safe, etc... But, I suggest to all who would totally write of the republican ticket to do a little research into Ron Paul. The media does a great job at making him out to be some nut, but I would remind you that Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Franklin...to name a few would say he is spot on. Furthermore, if you look at his campaign site, you will see detailed plans on how to tackle the debt in real numbers. Just check it out and if you still feel he is not right for the job, by all means support who you will. Thank you

    February 15, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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