Rick Santorum Stresses Outreach To People in Islamic World Threatened by “Radical Islamists”

Jan 20, 2012 10:33pm

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Speaking before a crowd that included a number of cadets from the Citadel on Friday night, Rick Santorum warned that “radical Islamists” pose as great a threat to the Islamic world as they do to the United States, if not greater. He argued that the next president will have to take a more active role in working with people in countries such as Iran to help them combat the dangers inflicted by radical Islamists.

“There is an existential threat out there. It is a threat that has challenged Western civilization for 1300 years,” Santorum said in a keynote speech at the Patriot Awards Dinner hosted by the Citadel’s Republican Society. “In its most virulent form, it is back, and it is funded by oil. If we do not put together a strategy to defeat that radical element within the Islamic world, that threatens the Islamic world more than it does even us. Look at the Iranians. I send a message all the time to the Iranian people. Hold on hold, continue to fight. We will help you. We will help you get rid of these tyrants that are destroying your life and destroying your country. These radical Islamists who are oppressing people and torturing them and killing them and robbing them of every bit of dignity in the name of this radical theology. Look at the people who are most affected by these radical theocrats. It’s not the West. It’s within that region of the world.”

Santorum stressed the strong leadership role the next president must take in helping those in countries he said are at risk of the terror inflicted by radical Islamists.

“We need to be a hope for them, not like what President Obama did three years ago and turn their back, his back on them when they were asking for our help. That’s what a leader does, a leader goes out and confronts the problem and is honest with the American people about what we’re dealing with, and he gives hope to those who seek truth, to those who understand justice. He doesn’t turn his back when people who are oppressed and in need and seek our help at a time when it is in our security interest to help them. This is a great challenge that the next leader of this country will face. Let’s just hope it is a new leader of this country who will face it.”

Clad in his signature sweater vest embroidered with his name on it, Santorum joked about the campaign trail’s latest fashion accessory as many cadets sat in the audience wearing their dress uniforms.

“I am in my fatigues, not in my dress outfit tonight. We’ve just come off the campaign trail and this is the, this is the, you know my flak jacket if you will. My sweater vest,” said Santorum.

At the end of the evening, Santorum received the Patriots Award, which was presented to him in the form of a giant rifle on a wooden plaque.

“That’ll go in the Oval for sure!” said Santorum to loud applause and cheers as he admired the award. “Thank you all very, very much for this honor. I’m truly inspired and moved by it, and we’ll get ready. We’ll arm, and we’ll get ready and what a way to go into tomorrow’s battle.”

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