Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Iran | Israel | Middle East | Rand Paul | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism

Rick Santorum: Rand Paul Flip-Flops on Israel, Iran

By    |   Tuesday, 09 September 2014 09:25 PM

Former Sen. Rick Santorum continued his scathing attack on Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday as he told Newsmax TV that the Kentucky lawmaker is an endless flip-flopper on his support of Israel and on the threat of Iran.

"He needs to differentiate himself from himself," Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"He's suggesting yeah, cut off foreign aid to Israel. I was in Israel just a few weeks ago, and I can tell you the people there are very concerned about this isolationism creeping up within the Republican Party.

"We see evidence that Rand Paul buys into this idea that Israel is the problem . . . the irritant within the Middle East, and that's just not where our country needs to be. We need to stand firmly with our allies and understand that the irritant is radical Islam and nothing else."

Last week, Santorum wrote a strong rebuke of Paul in Politico magazine titled: "Will the Real Rand Paul Please Stand Up?"

In the piece, Santorum wrote:

"Rand Paul insists he's not an 'isolationist' . . . but in reality, the Kentucky senator has advanced a brand of neo-isolationism and appeasement that is as short-sighted as it mistaken.

"Despite his recent, and frantic, efforts to recast himself as not completely ridiculous on national security issues, the truth is his record often puts him in league with Barack Obama — or even to the president's left.

"He may be changing his tune now, but he can't hide from his record. Sen. Paul has long been wrong and far out of the mainstream on three key matters: Iran, the Islamic State and Israel."

Santorum, a former GOP presidential candidate and now head of the family-friendly movie company EchoLight Studios, told host Steve Malzberg that calling Paul out is necessary for the good of the Republican Party.

"To me it's really important that if we're going to have this debate within the Republican Party, which we have been having now for the past couple of years and maybe even longer than that under his father [former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas], that we lay all the cards on the table, and we can't," Santorum said.

"When winds change, and unfortunately horrible things happen, like Islamic terrorists beheading American reporters, we can't then just go back and say, 'Oh, well, what this argument was about, well, you know, that never occurred.

'We need to remind people when the public is now keenly aware of the threats that can, in fact, harm our country that these debates are important debates to have."

Santorum noted that Paul had pushed for a policy of containment for Iran.

"I've seen a video of a speech that he gave . . . during the 2008 presidential campaign where he said, you know, Iran with one bomb is not a threat and one nuclear bomb is not a threat," Santorum said.

"He was the only United States senator, the only one on either party, to vote against sanctions to try to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

"You can make the argument he's to the left of everybody on the issue of Iran . . . he and his father, I know for sure, didn't think that Iran with a nuclear weapon was a problem."

But Santorum said Americans are aware of the grave danger a nuclear-armed Iran would pose.

"They recognize the threat that Iran is, the fact that they're the leading sponsor of terrorism in the world, including Hamas and Islamic [State], [and] other radical Islamic groups throughout the Middle East and, frankly, around the world," he said.

"[Rand Paul has] got a history of saying that they are not a threat and that he would not do anything to confront them and it would be a mistake and, in fact, even now when he's asked that question he says, well, you've got to go to Congress."

Santorum said the real question is whether Paul thinks the U.S. needs to militarily stop the Islamic State.

"It's been pretty clear his answer has been no, and now he's trying to backtrack on that," Santorum said.

"The overall point is that the Republican Party has traditionally been the party that believes in a strong national defense, that believes that strength equals peace more than weakness and isolationism equals peace.

"And there was an argument being made by Rand Paul, by his father, for years now that the policies within the Republican Party were wrong, that we can ignore these threats, that they are not important to our security, that all we need to worry about is taking care of us here in America, and if we leave the world alone then the world will leave us alone, and that is a very naïve and dangerous position for Republicans."

Asked whether he was bashing Rand Paul because he may challenge him for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, Santorum denied it.

"I've been engaged in this debate for a long time. I served in the Armed Services Committee, I authored major pieces of legislation on Syria and on Iran," he said.

"I've talked about the importance of our strategic relationship with Israel, the importance of stopping Iran, drawing a bright line, a red line, a real red line well before Iran has a nuclear weapon and not negotiating.

"This is something I am passionate about because I care deeply about the security threat that Iran and radical Islam poses . . . You can't blow things up and say the Republican Party is wrong and needs to change and then because it's evident that that was wrong, sort of put the genie back in the bottle."

Santorum said he was disturbed by a claim that he said Paul made, that Hillary Clinton is a hawk and "we need to run to the left" of her.

"I can tell you as someone who understood how peace through strength really works, that scared me," he said.

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum continued his scathing attack on Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday as he told Newsmax TV that the Kentucky lawmaker is an endless flip-flopper on his support of Israel and on the threat of Iran.
Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, flip-flopper, Israel
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2014-25-09
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 09:25 PM
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