Santorum’s Response To Bin Laden’s Death Is To Accuse Obama Of Not Defending American Freedom


ThinkProgress’ Igor Volsky contributed to this report from the Family Leader Presidential lecture series in Iowa City, IA today.

President Obama has received praise from Republicansand Democrats alike for bringing an end to the decade-long search for Osama bin Laden. But at the Family Leader Presidential lecture series in Iowa today, former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum (R) chose to envelop his brief praise for the president in a larger attack on his foreign policy credentials, insinuating that Obama isn’t interested in defending American freedom:

Barack Obama, who certainly is not someone I would say is known for fighting great causes in defense of American freedom, but I will give him credit in this, that he remained vigilant in going after Osama bin Laden. […]

We have to continue to be vigilant in going after this enemy, when we’ve seen, if anything from this administration, is a lack of leadership, an indecisiveness, a confusion in dealing with the troubles that have erupted, particularly in the Middle East during this presidency. We’ve seen a lack of conviction, a lack of resolve. … Maybe, again, that will change as a result of this success over the weekend.

Santorum also made the assertion that the left, which presumably includes the President and the Democratic Party, is not interested in preventing the spread of terrorism, saying, “there may not be resolve — left to right — when it comes to continuing and making sure we are victorious in subduing the jihadist threat around the world.” Watch it:

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While other potential presidential candidates, like Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, chose not to directly credit Obama with bringing bin Laden to justice, Santorum made transparent attempts to paint the president, and the left as a whole, as terrorist sympathizers with no interest in protecting American freedoms. Those attempts are, of course, baseless. Obama campaigned for president by promising to find bin Laden, even if it meant going into Pakistan to do so.

This isn’t the first time Santorum has attempted to characterize an opponent as soft on terrorism. During his 2006 Senate campaign, Santorum accused now-Sen. Bob Casey (D) of “aiding and abetting terrorism and genocide” in his job as Pennsylvania state treasurer.

UPDATEPolitico reports that Santorum continued his attacks on Obama while in Iowa today:

Noting that the war on terrorism isn’t over, the former Pennsylvania senator ripped Obama’s handling in Egypt, Iran, Libya and Syria, saying he’d made Americans “less safe.” […]

The president has handled all these situations poorly and, as a result, I believe we are less safe,” Santorum said. “Those are the issues that are going to be most important to the voters.”

© 2005-2011 Center for American Progress Action Fund
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