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Posted at 2:37 PM ET, 02/10/2011

Santorum: Obama refuses to condemn evil

By Aaron Blake



Rick Santorum photo by Larry Downing of Reuters

Live video and coverage of CPAC here.

Former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) laid into President Obama's response to the unrest in Egypt on Thursday, accusing him of siding against an American ally.

Santorum, who is likely to announce a run for president in the coming months, spent much of his time at the podium at CPAC criticizing the president's foreign policy and suggesting Obama hasn't learned the lessons of history.

He accused Obama of siding with Iranian leaders during the protests there two years ago and now siding against Egypt, an American ally in the Middle East.

"And so what does this president do when faced with that situation, he sides with that regime," Santorum said. "This time, what does the president of the United States do? He sides with the protesters."

"It send the message that when things get tough, we'll walk away."

Santorum, playing off a theme used by other speakers - the comparison between Obama and Ronald Reagan - suggested Obama has none of the foreign policy chops of the 40th president.

"President Obama has refused to look at the situation in Iran and Egypt and around that world and to call evil, evil. To identify the enemy," Santorum said. "This is someone who doesn't believe in truth and evil and America."

Santorum spoke to a mostly empty conference room after a lunch break, sporting a pair of glasses that he doesn't generally wear.

Much of the rest of Santorum's speech focused on the idea of "American Exceptionalism," saying Reagan and his GOP successors believed in the concept.

"People come to this country not because of wealth and opportunity; it's because of what we are," Santorum said.

He also made reference to a recent controversy between him and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R).

Asked recently why Palin was not able to attend CPAC, Santorum said she probably had other obligations - some of which might be more lucrative financially.

Palin fought back, suggesting he is a "knuckle-dragging Neanderthal."

Santorum began his speech Thursday by noting that he has promised not to avoid answering any questions.

"The last couple days, that probably wasn't the best idea," Santorum said. "But you live by the sword and you die by the sword."

By Aaron Blake  | February 10, 2011; 2:37 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012  | Tags:  CPAC, Rick Santorum  
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