Santorum: Bomb ISIS 'back to the 7th Century'
© Greg Nash
 
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said Saturday the military should damage the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to the point of impotence.
 
“If these folks want to return to a 7th Century version of Islam, then let’s load up our bombers and bomb them back to the 7th Century,” he argued during the South Carolina Freedom Summit in Greenville, S.C.
 
Santorum’s remarks came as he weighs a 2016 GOP presidential bid. The former lawmaker previously ran as a Republican in the 2012 election.
 
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Santorum added the U.S. should not let ISIS threaten the liberties it had long cherished. 
 
He cited ISIS’s repeated attacks on Western traditions as proof the terrorist organization despised the values Americans hold dear.
 
“What good is freedom of belief if you can’t speak what you believe?” Santorum asked. “If we don’t have liberty, what is it all worth?”
 
“Radical Islam is confronting this county,” he continued. “Terror is a tactic, and radical Islam is an ideology.”
 
“We need to be clear with the American people what a threat radical Islam presents,” Santorum added.
 
Santorum said President Obama had made the situation worse by disregarding America’s traditional diplomatic relations.
 
“I would be happy if the president were able to tell the difference between our friends and our enemies,” he said.
 
“Iran: Enemy. Israel: Friend,” he argued. “Iran will never keep anything that they promise to do.”
 
Santorum was criticizing President Obama’s framework nuclear deal with Tehran announced on April 2. The draft accord would lift economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for greater restrictions on its atomic energy program.
 
Obama has long argued diplomacy is the best means of preventing an Iran with nuclear weapons.
 
Santorum and many other Republicans have countered that Iranian leadership has proven untrustworthy on such agreements in the past.
 
Santorum said Obama’s failures stemmed from his lack of experience before entering the Oval Office. He urged voters not to repeat that mistake in 2016.
 
“Commander in chief is not an entry-level position,” he argued.
 
Santorum has not yet decided whether he will make a second attempt at winning the White House.
 
He has promised a “big announcement” on his plans later this month.
 
Santorum is expected to reveal his definitive 2016 aspirations May 27 in Pittsburgh.