Santorum Focuses on Iran in Debate, on the Campaign Trail, and in New Radio Ad

Nov 12, 2011 9:35pm

Just minutes before the GOP 2012 contenders took the stage in Spartanburg, S.C. for the CBS/National Journal debate on foreign policy, Rick Santorum released a radio ad touting his experience and toughness on Iran while calling President Obama a “disaster.”

As in an earlier address on Iran this week in New Hampshire, during the debate the former Pennsylvania senator said there needs to be a “laser- beam focus” on preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

He said “covert operations” were ongoing  to slow the development of those weapons and added that he hoped the deaths of some Iranian scientists  were the result of American involvement.

“This is the most important national security issue, the Iranian nuke. All of us should be able to answer that question. We need to put tough sanctions in place for Iran,” Santorum said before criticizing both the Bush and Obama administrations for not being strong enough on Iran.

“President Bush and President Obama did not give money to the pro-democracy movement in Iran. Sanctions are not going to be enough. You need to read the IAEA report. We should be working with Israel right now. Take out the nuclear capability. We need to stop this before we have a nuclear explosion in Iran and the world changes,” Santorum said.

The ad titled “Disaster” has tough words for Obama, and says  Santorum is the only candidate “talking about Iran.”

“Some say Barack Obama is a disaster.  The truth, he’d have to dramatically improve to be considered a disaster.  And now, a new report exposes how Iran is moving rapidly to develop a nuclear weapon and once again Obama has no plan,” the ad says referring to the IAEA report released this week.  “Unfortunately, the Republican presidential candidates aren’t talking about Iran either, except one: Rick Santorum.  But it’s not surprising, Rick Santorum served on the Armed Services Committee for 8 years and he wrote tough legislation to help stop Iran’s growing aggression.  Even Newt Gingrich said no one has done more than Santorum to alert America to the dangers posed by Iran.”

Santorum is not the only candidate mentioning Iran on the stump. Mitt Romney released an op-ed this week in the Wall Street Journal writing that he also would not let Iran develop nuclear weapons.

In Santorum’s speech on Iran Thursday, he called for a “preemptive strike” on that country if Iran is indeed building nuclear weapons.

Santorum’s ad will air in the early states beginning this Tuesday, but according to a campaign aide the other details, like exactly which states and how large the buy will be, are still being determined.

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