Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum wasn’t too impressed with the support his opponents Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich offered for the idea of eliminating foreign aid during the candidates debate Saturday.
"They're pandering to this anti-foreign aid element out there," former Pennsylvania Sen. Santorum said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
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Texas Gov. Perry said during the debate that he would cut U.S. aid budgets to zero for each foreign country. Then any future aid allocation would depend on which countries support the United States. He implied Israel would continue to receive aid, while Pakistan wouldn’t.
Former House Speaker Gingrich gave a nod to the idea, too.
"This was, I think, a lowlight in that debate," Santorum said.
American citizens don’t realize just how small our foreign aid budget is, Santorum said. “When I tell them it's less than a half a percent [of total government spending], people are shocked," Santorum said.
Foreign aid is important in terms of forestalling the need for U.S. military action instead. It’s valuable in “preventing America from getting involved in things it shouldn’t be,” Santorum said.
The United States can’t simply desert Pakistan, he said. "We have had good relationships, we need to continue to foster those relationships, lest radical elements in Pakistan wrest control of that country and with it nuclear weapons," Santorum said.
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