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Santorum at AIPAC Conference: Obama 'Turned His Back on the People of Israel

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President Barack Obama and Republicans challengers have each been making their case as the most reliable ally to Israel during events at this week's American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference (AIPAC). Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum spoke the morning of Super Tuesday not in Ohio or Tennessee, but before the conference in Washington D.C. He warned of the dangers of a nuclear Iran and chastised the president who has "turned his back on the people of Israel."

“As I’ve sat and watched this play out on the world stage, I have seen a president who has been reticent,” Santorum said Tuesday.

“He says he has Israel’s back; from everything I’ve seen from the conduct of this administration, he has turned his back on the people of Israel,” he added to applause.

When comparing the speeches made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama Monday, Santorum said "there is a clear and unfortunate tragic disconnect"  between the leaders of the country of Israel and the country of the United States in the way they "view the exigency of this situation."

Much of Santorum's speech focused on preventing a nuclear Iran. Santorum immediately criticized Tuesday's offer by the United States, European countries, Russia and China to resume talks with Iran on its suspected nuclear weapons program, according to The Associated Press. He termed it "another appeasement, another delay, another opportunity for them to go forward while we talk."

ABC News notes that Santorum gave his first speech on preventing Iran from gaining nuclear capability in November in a rural part of New Hampshire in front of a small crowd, where he called then for a “preemptive strike,” if intelligence shows Iran is on that track. During a "Meet the Press" interview on New Years Day, the former Pennsylvania senator said he would order air strikes if Iranian leaders do not dismantle nuclear sites. As tensions continue to mount between Israel and Iran over nuclear weapon exploration, Santorum unapologetically maintained his stern position Tuesday.

“These are essentially irrational actors. We need to put that ultimatum in place, and we need to be prepared, if that ultimatum is not met to engage Prime Minister Netanyahu and the people of Israel in an effort to make sure that if they do not tear down those facilities, we will tear down them.”

"A nuclear Iran with a nuclear shield to project terror around the world is a nightmare for all freedom loving people around the world," the Allentown Morning Call reports Santorum went on to say.

ABC notes that Santorum ended his address with a call to the audience to make sure the “radical environmental movement in this country” does not curb domestic energy production.

"We see energy prices going up and it’s obviously caused in part by the tensions in the Middle East,” Santorum said. “I would encourage everyone here to begin to work with us to make sure that the radical environmental movement in this country does not stop the production of oil and gas in this country and pipelines that need to be built so we can become energy independent and not rely on the Middle East and bad actors for the supply of oil and gas for the world.”

See video highlighting some of Santorum's remarks:

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