Rick Santorum--the surprise almost-first-place finisher in the Iowa ralph lauren outlet uk onlineGOP presidential caucus Tuesday--advocates a hawkish, internationalist and compassionate foreign policy deeply informed by his socially conservative, Roman Catholic faith.
Santorum had been a prominent leader in the GOP Senate caucus from 2001 through 2007, when he served as the chair of the Senate Republican Policy conference. The Pennsylvania lawmaker had been "a big supporter of AIDS funding in the Senate," a former Santorum staffer told Yahoo News Wednesday on condition of anonymity because she does not work for campaign. "He took the lead in funding for African development. He cares a lot about the underdog."
At the same time, Santorum has also been a consistentralph lauren uk outlet online hawk when it comes to projecting U.S. power abroad, advocating a more aggressive American posture toward regimes in Syria, Iran and China. And like many conservative lawmakers, Santorum has taken an extremely pro-Israel line on the perennially-stalemated Middle East peace process. He had served on the Senate Armed Services committee for eight years, and was a principal author of legislation sanctioning the Syrian regime and promoting support to opponents of the Iranian regime.
"Rick has had intelligence briefings, he has been on the Senate armed services committee," said Barbara Ledeen, a former Santorum Senate aide, in a telephone ralph lauren uk outletinterview with Yahoo News Wednesday.
"He has a deep concern about China, about the Middle East and about America's place in the world," Ledeen added. "He is well read and well informed. And he believes that America is a gift to the world."
Indeed, in 2006, Santorum earned a surprise--if somewhat backhanded--nod for his support for international anti-poverty work in Africa from U2 front-man and humanitarian activist Bono.
Santorum "has a kind of Tourette's disease," Bono New York Times columnist David Brooks in 2006. "He will always say the most unpopular thing. But on our issues, he has been a defender of the most vulnerable."
"We need to keep and expand our commitment to humanitarian aid, especially in Africa," Santorumin a speech to the National Press Club in April 2011. "China and Islam are competing for the hearts and minds of much of Africa, and we cannot turn our back from the investment and commitments we have made. I helped lead many of our efforts to address third-world debt and the global AIDS crisis, and our investments have paid off."
But Santorum's commitment to the promotion of democracy abercrombie and fitch parishas also shown limits, especially when it comes to the combination of religious ideology and democratic reform in the Muslim world.
In the wake of the Arab Spring protests that toppled Egypt's strongman ruler Hosni Mubarak after more than three decades in power, Santorum stressed that democracy's expansion in the Arab world should stop shy of including groups with a conservative Islamic agenda such as Egypt's influential Muslim Brotherhood.
"The Muslim Brotherhood is not ... about democracy," SantorumNBC host David Gregory on "Meet the Press" this past Sunday. "The Muslim Brotherhood are Islamists. The Muslim Brotherhood are going to impose Sharia law."
"They were popularly elected, I think," Gregory responded. "Isn't that what democracy is about?"
"No," Santorum said.
Meanwhile, on the question of Iran, Santorum has called outabercrombie and fitch france President Obama for failing to offer fuller, more overt support for the green movement protestors who took to the streets in Tehran in the wake of the disputed June 2009 presidential vote that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power by a suspiciously large margin. Under his Iran policy, Santorum explained, the United States would "fund the pro-democracy movement, use covert activities to disrupt" Iran's nuclear program, and work more openly with Israel to warn Iran. "You either open up those facilities . . . or we will degrade those facilities through airstrikes and make it very public that we are doing that," Santorum told Gregory. "The president has done none of those."