Santorum: Iran 'must be stopped'
November 10th, 2011
09:09 PM ET
8 years ago

Santorum: Iran 'must be stopped'

New Boston, New Hampshire (CNN) - Former Sen. Rick Santorum offered a robust defense of Israel and faulted presidents Bush and Obama for their dealings with Iran in a minutely-detailed foreign-policy speech Thursday.

His comments came after a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran appeared to have continued its efforts to construct a nuclear weapon.

Santorum said the United States had an obligation to offer support - though Israel would take the lead - should the Jewish state choose to strike Iran. He said he did expect Israel to take action against Iran to protect its interests.

"A country that is developing a weapon of mass destruction to use it or destroy another country must be stopped in a pre-emptive strike," Santorum said.

He added: "I cannot imagine that any leader of the state of Israel cannot act at this point."

Iran has vowed to destroy Israel.

The speech, given to about 45 voters on a rainy night in New Boston, New Hampshire, included several lengthy divergences into Iranian and Muslim history.

Santorum emphasized his foreign policy credentials by recounting his actions in the Senate, where he sat on the Armed Services Committee.

He said he would have advocated for more strongly supporting nascent pro-democracy movements in the Middle East and toughening sanctions against Iran.

Santorum was asked by a member of the audience if he thought Americans had the appetite for more war.

"We need to stand up and fight and draw the line when our security's at stake," he said.


Filed under: 2012 • Iran • New Hampshire • Rick Santorum
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller

    No, Santorum must be stopped–what Iran does is none of our business.

    November 10, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  2. GonzoinHouston

    At some point in the future, Iran will most likely test a nuclear device. 15 minutes later, Israel will test 3, all more powerful. While Israel does not have nuclear weapons today, they have had the fissionable material for years. The question that never gets asked is "how long would it take Israel to develop a nuke"?

    November 10, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  3. proudmemberofglobalzero

    No more wars! Especially Nuclear....hence my name.

    November 10, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  4. JP

    One of the things I hate about the election cycle is the all politicians puckering up to kiss Israel's ass. Why don't they talk about how U.S. tax dollars are used to build illegal settlements on stolen land and this is one of the biggest reasons why some arab countries hate us so much and why more American soldiers are dead.

    November 10, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. Donkey Party

    So he wants the US to "lead from behind" Israel, and he thinks we can afford more war? The Google result for his name couldn't be any more appropriate.

    November 10, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  6. Harry

    I hope Rick is ready to sign his sons up to fight for our freedom in Iran!

    November 10, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  7. Debbie

    So Santorum is pushing a Bush policy of strike first on a soverign nation through Israel. He does realize that if Israel strikes then it is the beginning of a nuclear WWIII. Sort of forces the hand of our allies that are Muslim to stand against us. That messes up any alliances the USA has in the Middle East not to mention our bases/weapons in Turkey. And one last question: How will Santorum pay for at pre-meditated strike that will lead to war? Will he restart the draft as our military is just about spent. How will he pay for this war? We are already in debt to the max on two wars.

    November 10, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  8. Dixie AZ

    "Mr. Sanitarium", Surely the men in white coats I sent out have found you by now, and you are resting quietly in your padded cell. Let's wait until your children are enlistment age, then you may send them off to die in another Republican "off the cuff" war.

    November 10, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  9. Larry

    Santorum is exactly right. The only thing I disagree with is Israel having to go it alone, with US "support", whatever that would entail. Iran doesn't just threaten Israel, it threatens the US, the entire ME, the uninterrupted supply of oil, not to mention all of Europe is within reach of their newest missiles. Word is Iran got a few cruise missiles at fire sale on the black market from a previous Soviet Union member State. Israel is small potatoes if Iran gets their nukes.

    November 10, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  10. Jersey3038

    This guy is just trying to get money from the military industrial complex.(I hope) This is the kind of thinking that cause our problems around the world. What about N. Korea? Sad thing is that lots of americans fall for this type of talk. The only thing we need to do is worry about our own problems here at home. Unless we are attacked They are not worth even one of our soldiers lives. Not one. This is not our job. Our job is to creat prosperity for our legal citizens.

    November 10, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  11. Gene

    Yes please give santorum a gun and allow him to stop Iran.

    November 10, 2011 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  12. jack

    Santorum is a crazed lunatic. I think we should support Israel in defending itself, but at the same time insist, through sanctions if necessary, that they abide by the same rules. that means no more construction until a permanent settlement is reached. You can pretend to be the oppressed while oppressing.

    November 10, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  13. unsub

    Mr. "look at me" Santorum!

    November 10, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  14. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Santorum runs his mouth a lot, but rarely shows that he has a grasp of the real world. Another poor candidate for president, in a field of really bad candidates.

    November 11, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  15. Thomas

    Sorry Rick. Obama's work on foreign policy has been nothing short of stellar. Americans have NO INTEREST in a military conflict with Iran, whose leadership shouts anti-Israeli things simply to get more votes (remember, they play internal and regional politics, too). Moreover, budget boy, I don't think your fiscally conservative Tea Party friends would like to see yet another multi billion dollar campaign against a country on the other side of the world that is really no threat to the US. The Iranians know history and know what three Israeli fighter jets can do to a nuclearfacility.

    November 11, 2011 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  16. Tony

    How about a jobs bill? Congress must pass a jobs bill. Let Israel deal with Iran.

    November 11, 2011 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
  17. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Wingnuts are dangerous people. Americans want no more wars. We can't afford it, remember that?

    November 11, 2011 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  18. ARTRaveler

    I would expect Santorium to be the first in line to go. Republicans are great for sending the kids of the 99% to fight their wars while the 1% make a killing off the war machine. And this one is pay as you go or even better, a 10% surcharge before one bit of committment, and let's see if the bankers "ALLOW" the US to go to war.

    November 11, 2011 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  19. thebob.bob

    The Joint Chief of Staff and former head of the CIA has warned against a knee-jerk and ill-thought out strike against Iran. Playing politics with Nuclear Weaponry???

    A frothy mixture of reactionary Foreign Policy and simple-minded religiosity.

    November 11, 2011 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I appreciate Santorum's stance on stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. The question is how to do it with the support of the a lot of the world's country. If Israel is to take the lead, then the Muslim world is going to raise Hell over it; claiming that Israel is the instagator and wrong. That can't be farther from the truth. This is about the only thing that I agree with Santorum.

    November 11, 2011 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  21. The GOBP is a neocon deathcult!

    This is why the only GOBP candidate who is "safe" to elect is Ron Paul. The rest of the GOBP neocon deathcult candidates will get us into a wasteful and unnecessary war with Iran. Hello massive deficits and $6/gallon gas. These hate-filled warmongers truly don't get it, so it will be the job of voters to prevent them from getting anywhere near the levers of war-making powers.

    November 11, 2011 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  22. Rowdy

    Republicans must be stopped with their weapons of mass economical destruction to the middle class before they make the middle class American extinct.

    November 11, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  23. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    What is sad is that 45 people listened to him.

    November 11, 2011 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Senator, you cannot just go in with an invasion force and takeover the country. Neither can you launch a series of surgical strikes against suspected targets. You would be wrong to take any pre-emptive military action against Iran, not after Iraq.

    Speaking of Iraq, Saddam Hussein is the reason why you have a near-nuclear Iran today. Saddam was the check and balance to a strong military in Iran. He also launched strikes against facilities suspected of weapons research. Saddam wanted to be not only the strongest military in the Middle East, but the only major power in the region. When Bush took out Saddam, he also took out the counterbalance against the Iranian military. Now you wait for them to overstep.

    November 11, 2011 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  25. cecil

    You got your yes man and his name is Cain. Obama will do what he feels is right. He is the President not you or any other Republican. Didn't you blast him for assisting in Libya? Now you want to be the one to say "I proposed action on Iran first" because you want to try to steal victory before its' been won. Be gone Santorum nobody is listening to your policies. You are too soft compared to Perry.

    November 11, 2011 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
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