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Rick Santorum on Foreign Policy

Republican Jr Senator (PA)


Stand up for our friends in Latin America, not leftists

Q: How would you engage in Latin America to support the governments and the political parties that support democracy and free markets?

PAUL: Well, I think free trade is the answer. Free trade is an answer to a lot of conflicts around the world, so I'm always promoting free trade. And you might add Cuba, too. I think we would be a lot better off trading with Cuba.

SANTORUM: I'm not with Congressman Paul & I'm not with Barack Obama on this issue. Our policy in Central and South America under this administration has been abysmal: A consistent policy of siding with the leftists, siding with the Marxists, siding with those who don't support democracy. Not standing up for our friends who want to engage and support America, who want to be great trading partners and great allies for our country, to be able to form that kind of bond that is so essential in our own hemisphere. We not only have to come together as an economic unit, but against the threat of radical Islam growing in that region.

Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary , Jan 26, 2012

Keep embargo on Cuba--the heart of cancer in Latin America

Q: Pres. Obama announced that he is liberalizing trade and travel policies to Cuba. Your view?

SANTORUM: I would oppose it. I've been 100% in support of the right to a free Cuba, and the US should stand on the side of the Cuban people against these despots who are not just reigning terror in Cuba, but now have their puppet, Chavez in Venezuela, and it keeps like a cancer growing. So the idea that a president would take the heart of the cancer that is in Central & South America, and begin to reward behavior that has spread this cancer because of our dilly-dallying and our inattentiveness there-- Now, we're going to reward this type of thuggery, this type of Marxism in our region. We're going to reward a country that is now working with these other countries bring in Iran and the Jihadists who want to set up missile sites and to set up training camps. And so we're going to reward this behavior by opening up and liberalizing. This is the exact wrong message at the exact wrong time.

Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary , Jan 26, 2012

Self-determination on statehood for Puerto Rico

Q: Do you support Puerto Rico potentially as the 51st state?

SANTORUM: When I was a Senator, we did a lot of work with Puerto Rico. I was made aware of problems, for example, in the Medicaid program. We passed things to help with deplorably low reimbursement rates. We also worked on hurricane relief and a whole host of other things as a result of my relationship with many Puerto Ricans in PA.

I believe in self-determination: That the Puerto Rican people should have the opportunity to be able to be able to speak on this. I have supported that. I don't take a position one way or the other on statehood, commonwealth, or independence; that's for the people of Puerto Rico to decide.

But I also supported a lot of things to help the Puerto Rican economy. The poverty & unemployment rates are simply not something that we as Americans should allow to occur in our country. We need to make sure that there are pro-growth, supply side economics to make sure that Puerto Rico can succeed as an economy.

Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary , Jan 26, 2012

Iran's theocracy encourages use of nuclear weapons

Q: Why is it that we cannot live with a nuclear Iran?

SANTORUM: They're a theocracy. They're a theocracy that has deeply embedded beliefs that the afterlife is better than this life. President Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said the principal virtue of the Islamic Republic of Iran is martyrdom. So when your principal virtue is to die for Allah, then it's not a deterrent to have a nuclear threat if they would use a nuclear weapon. It is, in fact, an encouragement for them to use their nuclear weapon, and that's why there's a difference between the Soviet Union and China and others and Iran.

Q: What about Pakistan? They are in indifferent ally at best.

SANTORUM: They are not a theocracy. And we're very hopeful of maintaining a more secular state than is in place today. We've had some real serious problems with the Pakistani military. The reason is we have a president that's just very weak in that region of the world and is not respected.

Source: Meet the Press 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 8, 2012

JFK-Khrushchev negotiations failed; Obama's will fail too

President Obama naively and cavalierly once declared Iran as a "tiny country" that did not pose a serious threat. Candidate Obama wanted to negotiate with Iran, just as JFK negotiated with Khrushchev. But just as negotiations with Khrushchev failed, so has Obama's efforts and his naivety in international diplomacy has led our nation to the brink of a nuclear Iran that neither fears nor respects American power.

We must move beyond our 9/10 mentality--ignoring clear threats. We must broaden our 9/11 mentality--solely focusing on a shadowing terrorist network thousands of miles away. Instead, we must immediately understand that we are facing a new enemy and entering a new age of international threats to this country and her allies.

As President, I would exhaust every diplomatic option before exercising military might, but we cannot take military action against Iran off the table--because a nuclear Iran is gravely dangerous for American security and Israeli survival.

Source: Rick Santorum Op-Ed on CNBC.com Guest Blog , Nov 10, 2011

Assassinate Iranian & North Korean nuclear scientists

Now [Iran is] in the process of developing nuclear weapons and it appears obvious to me that the administration is doing little to none. Now I'm hopeful that some of the things we're seeing with respect to the nuclear program that the US is involved with, which is, on occasion, scientist working on the nuclear program in Iran turned up dead. I think that's a wonderful thing.

I think we should send a very clear message that if you are a scientist from Russia, or from North Korea or from Iran, and you're gonna work on a nuclear program to develop a nuclear bomb for Iran, you are not safe.

And if people say, well you can't go out and assassinate people, well tell that to al-Awlaki. Okay, we've done it. We've done it for American citizens. We can certainly do it for someone whose producing a nuclear bomb that can be dropped in the state of Israel or provides a nuclear shield for country that will spread terrorism with impunity and change the face of the world."

Source: Santorum speaking in Downtown Greenville , Oct 25, 2011

Deal with Musharraf in Pakistan in advance of trouble

Q: Would Iran get Pakistani nukes in a coup?

SANTORUM: We should be establishing relationships in Pakistan with allies of ours, folks like Pres. Musharraf. So if in fact something like [a coup] would occur, we could work in concert to make sure that that coup could be overturned and make sure those nuclear weapon do not fall in those hands. But working with allies at that point is the last thing we want to do. We want to work in that country to make sure the problem is defused.

Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL , Sep 22, 2011

No apologies for past American interventions in Iran

SANTORUM: Iran is a country that has been at war with us since 1979.

PAUL: The senator is wrong on his history. We started it in 1953 when we sent in a coup, installed the shah, and the blowback came in 1979. It's been going on and on because we just plain don't mind our own business. That's our problem.

SANTORUM: Anyone that suggests that Iran is not a threat to this country or is not a threat to stability in the Middle East is obviously not seeing the world very clearly. He sees it exactly the way that Barack Obama sees it, that we have to go around and apologize for the fact that we've gone out and exerted our influence to create freedom around the world. I don't apologize for that. I don't apologize for the Iranian people being free for a long time and now they're under a mullacracy that tramples the rights of women, tramples the rights of gays, tramples the rights of people all throughout their society.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe.

H.R. 3167; Gerald B. H. Solomon Freedom Consolidation Act of 2001, To endorse the vision of further enlargement of the NATO Alliance. Vote to pass a bill that would support further expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, authorize military assistance to several eastern European countries and lift assistance restrictions on Slovakia.
Reference: Bill HR.3167 ; vote number 2002-116 on May 17, 2002

Voted NO on killing a bill for trade sanctions if China sells weapons.

Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would require sanctions against China or other countries if they were found to be selling illicit weapons of mass destruction.
Reference: Bill HR.4444 ; vote number 2000-242 on Sep 13, 2000

Voted YES on capping foreign aid at only $12.7 billion.

Adoption of the conference report on the 2000 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill provided $12.7 billion for foreign aid programs in 2000.

Vetoed by President Clinton

Veto message of 10/18/1999: W cannot protect American interests at home without active engagement abroad. We must lead in the world, working with other nations to defuse crises, repel dangers, promote more open economic and political systems, and strengthen the rule of law. This bill rejects all of those principles.

The overall funding provided by H.R. 2606 is inadequate. By denying America a decent investment in diplomacy, this bill suggests we should meet threats to our security with our military might alone. That is a dangerous proposition. For if we underfund our diplomacy, we will end up overusing our military.

For example, A generation from now, no one is going to say we did too much to help the nations of the former Soviet Union safeguard their nuclear technology and expertise. If the funding cuts in this bill were to become law, future generations would certainly say we did too little and that we imperiled our future in the process.
Status: Conf Rpt Agreed to Y)51; N)49

Reference: H.R. 2606 Conference Report; Bill H.R. 2606 ; vote number 1999-312 on Oct 6, 1999

Voted NO on limiting the President's power to impose economic sanctions.

To kill a proposal limiting President Clinton's ability to impose economic sanctions on foreign nations.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)53; N)46; NV)1
Reference: Motion to table the Lugar Amdt #3156.; Bill S. 2159 ; vote number 1998-201 on Jul 15, 1998

Voted NO on limiting NATO expansion to only Poland, Hungary & Czech.

This amendment would have limited NATO Expansion to only include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Status: Amdt Rejected Y)41; N)59
Reference: NATO Expansion limit-Warner Amdt. #2322; Bill NATO Expansion Treaty #105-36 ; vote number 1998-112 on Apr 30, 1998

Voted YES on $17.9 billion to IMF.

Would provide $17.9 billion for the International Monetary Fund.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)84; N)16
Reference: McConnell Amdt #2100; Bill S. 1768 ; vote number 1998-44 on Mar 26, 1998

Voted YES on Strengthening of the trade embargo against Cuba.

Strengthening of the trade embargo against Cuba.
Status: Conf Rpt Agreed to Y)74; N)22; NV)4
Reference: Conference Report on H.R. 927; Bill H.R. 927 ; vote number 1996-22 on Mar 5, 1996

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Page last updated: Mar 07, 2012