Politics

Santorum Ramps Up Criticism of Obama's "Muddled Foreign Policy"

Former Senator Rick Santorum has criticized President Obama for being "detached" and "indecisive" about U.S. intervention in Libya, and the potential 2012 Republican challenger on Wednesday stressed that this week's presidential press conference wasn't enough to change his mind.

"The president waited five full days and just sort of made an offhand comment at a press conference," he told "On the Record" Wednesday night, slamming the Commander in Chief for seeming "disinterested" in Libya "from the very beginning."

"[T]here's one thing to engage the international community in something you want done. It's another thing to follow the international community," he said. "I think that's what happened here - not the president leading."

President Obama publicly expounded on his much-maligned approach to Libya in a press conference Tuesday, saying his "immediate concern" was the safety of U.S. citizens," and that the Administration had taken "a series of swift steps in a matter of days to answer Qaddafi's aggression."

"You shouldn't have your policy dependent upon American civilians in a country," Santorum, who has argued the no fly zone was established too late, rejoined. "You want to make sure you do everything you can. But you certainly can't delay what you believe is in the national security interests of this country for that reason alone."

A former Senate Armed Services Committee member, Santorum has ramped up his criticism of what he calls the Administration's "muddled foreign policy" in recent weeks. The Pennsylvania Republican, best known for his socially conservative views on domestic issues, plans to deliver a foreign policy address April 28th at Washington's National Press Club.

And following confirmed reports that the president had signed a secret finding authorizing covert action in Libya, Santorum offered some advice on how the White House should frame its approach to the Libyan rebel forces.

"If we are replacing Qaddafi with folks backed by the Muslim Brotherhood or al Qaeda, we could end up in a far worse situation," Santorum advised, adding that Qaddafi at first "wasn't an imminent threat to our country." "This is where a president would be engaged in trying to discern that, covertly or otherwise, as to who these people are, and try to have a better handle before you commit to saying that Qaddafi leave, or commit military forces to help these people."