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Rick Santorum tells #SunshineSummit U.S. is verging ‘on global war’

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Hours after the terrorist attacks in Paris, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told a Sunshine Summit crowd on Saturday that the U.S. was “on the verge of a global war.”

“The world is on fire,” he said. “You’re going to be electing a wartime president … We better elect someone with experience, (not) someone who isn’t ready.”

Santorum, a former U.S. senator for Pennsylvania, served on the Armed Services committee, supported the Iraq War and backed Iranian sanctions.

He blamed the soft foreign policy of President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, formerly Obama’s secretary of state, for abandoning Iraq “against all the generals’ recommendations.”

Santorum said of Parisians, “We will stand with them, pray with them and — if we had better leadership — help them.”

He angrily mocked Obama’s concern of carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming, being a greater threat than Islamic extremists. The terror attacks in Paris that claimed over 100 victims were claimed by Islamic State, the Mideast jihadist organization.

“Hold your breath, otherwise you’re going to destroy the world,” Santorum said.

Islamic State wants to rule under a 7th century form of Islam, he said, and he’d “bomb them back to the 7th century.”

He reminded the audience of what he called the other threat in the region, Iran, which he said is still on the path of developing weapons despite a nuclear deal

“Iran with a nuclear weapon is a threat to every man and woman in this country,” he told the audience. The next president needs to be more like Ronald Reagan, someone that “the other side, the enemy, knows who they’re dealing with.”

Santorum is at 0.8 percent in the polls, according to the latest average calculated by The Huffington Post. He’s a devout Catholic and social conservative known for his stands against gay marriage and abortion.

Santorum also pushed an amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act while in the U.S. Senate that called for the teaching of intelligent design, the view that an “intelligent cause” is responsible for changes in nature, not Darwinian natural selection.

The 57-year-old ran for president in 2012, when his rise in popularity peaked with his win of the Iowa caucuses — though by a slim 34 votes. He went on to win several more primaries before taking a dive in the polls and ending his campaign that April.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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