Santorum: Rand Paul's views like Obama's

Greg Nash

Sen. Rand Paul’s views on foreign policy are dangerously aligned with President Obama’s, Rick Santorum said in what amounts to a shot across the bow to a possible presidential rival in 2016.

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"I see the Rand Paul wing of the Republican Party for what it is: allied with Barack Obama’s foreign policy. I think that’s a very serious threat to our own security," the former Pennsylvania senator said in an interview with Time magazine.

Santorum noted that he had large disagreements on foreign policy with the Kentucky Republican's father, Ron Paul, during the 2012 presidential campaign.

"You can deliver a positive message for the country on national security without saying we need to be in a war in every country. Which of course we can’t do, and we wouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean we need to disengage. There’s a cost to disengagement," he said.

A series of potential GOP presidential candidates have taken shots at Paul, who is perceived to have a more non-interventionist foreign policy than many of his peers.

Paul recently hit back at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Ky.), accusing him of misrepresenting his views on foreign policy, and staked out his own position on Ukraine in a Time magazine op-ed last week.  

"What some American leaders, including some in my own party, often forget is that lasting peace was always Reagan’s ultimate objective," Paul wrote.

Santorum criticized Obama’s handling of the situation of Crimea. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin has been emboldened by U.S. foreign policy during Obama’s tenure.

"What we’ve seen over time is the president serially deferring, backing away from red lines or lines in the sand, saying that the U.S. needs not to be involved in all these things. You send a signal," he said.

Santorum said he "absolutely" had the itch to get back into politics and claimed he "without a doubt" would have beaten Obama had he won the GOP nomination in 2012.

If he does run again in 2016, he said he would have to raise a lot more money and get a stronger team around him. He said he would have an advantage because many people already know his conservative credentials.

"This time around I don’t have to go out and prove by bona fides on being a conservative," he said. "I can focus in on how I differentiate myself from the rest of the field and how I think we can develop a winning message for the fall."

He won 11 states in 2012, the most of any candidate besides Mitt Romney, who became the GOP's presidential nominee. He blamed his lack of money down the stretch for his loss.

Santorum said polling firms should not be leaving his name off the list of potential GOP candidates for 2016. A CNN poll over the weekend showed Paul narrowly leading the pack with 16 percent. Santorum, who was also included in the early poll, brought in 3 percent.

"It’s sort of been my strength over the course of my political career that I’m always underestimated," he said.

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