The PJ Tatler

Santorum: I Know Radical Islam, Can Face Former SecState 'Very Steeped in Knowledge in That Area'

Former Sen. Rick Santorum is taking another shot at the White House, and he thinks appealing to blue-collar workers’ concerns including income inequality will single him out in a crowded GOP field.

Santorum announced his candidacy yesterday in his home state. He came in second to Mitt Romney in the 2012 delegate count, with strong early showings in Iowa, Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota. He was weakest in key states such as New Hampshire and Florida.

“I think we sound a lot different,” he told Fox of his new campaign message. “I mean, we have focused in on where the problem is in America today, and that is that, you know, you see a hollowing out of the middle of this country. The wages have stagnated. Family incomes and median income is going down. And the opportunity to rise, particularly for the 74 percent of Americans who don’t have a college degree, it’s just not happening.”

“And one of the reasons it’s not, and you know this because you’ve been there, is because we’ve lost our manufacturing base in this country,” he said. “And that’s why I have this announcement at a manufacturing facility. We had manufacturers from all over the country here. We’re excited about someone who is willing to go out and help America compete again, because we can bring those jobs back here. We just have to have plans to do it.”

Santorum said he’ll be putting forward a “very detailed plan” for the country including a “simple, fair, flat tax.”

That plan, he said, is “going to be very stimulative to the economy generally, but in particular to manufacturing.”

“We’re going to put things in place that will make America a manufacturing mecca to create the opportunity for us to create jobs.”

Santorum boasted during his campaign announcement that ISIS had singled him out by name — they called him a “Catholic crusader” in a March issue of their Dabiq magazine.

“There’s a lot of places to start. I think you have to start where the temperature is the hottest, and that’s in the Middle East. Iran is certainly, as you know, for a long time I’ve been sounding the alarm on Iran… This is something that is critical for us,” the former senator said. “I’m hopeful, I pray, literally I pray that we don’t strike a deal with Iran that puts them that close to a nuclear weapon that’s really their option. But if that doesn’t happen, and I pray it doesn’t, that’s going to be a big job for the next president to make sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.”

“We take on ISIS. I talked here today how important it is not to have a commander in chief with no experience. A commander in chief is not an entry-level position. I served eight years on the Armed Services Committee. I’ve been talking about this problem of radical Islam now for more than a dozen years and traveled the country, traveled the world. And we need someone with experience who knows how to handle that, to go up particularly against a former secretary of State who is very steeped in knowledge in that area.”