Huffpost Politics

Rick Santorum: Obama 'Was Ready To Jump In Bed With The Muslim Brotherhood' (VIDEO)

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Wednesday elaborated on his critique of the Obama administration's foreign policy in the Middle East, claiming that the president had shown a willingness to "jump in bed" with the "pro-democracy" Muslim Brotherhood during conflicts in Libya and Egypt. But, Santorum said, Obama was hesitating to support anti-regime movements in Syria and Iran.

"And the main thing that has to be done is we need to do what president Obama was very willing to do in Egypt and Libya but seems reticent to do in Syria and Iran, those two connected states, which is to support the pro-democracy movement in those countries," Santorum said in an interview with Fox News' Greta van Susteren following the GOP debate in Mesa, Ariz. (Video of the interview above). "The president was ready to jump in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and Egypt, but again has actually sided originally with Syria in this struggle by recognizing them as a government for first time in many years, put an embassy in place in Syria. And of course during the elections in 2009 when the green revolution was sparked in Iran, he sided with Ahmadinejad or the mullahs."

Santorum then quickly clarified that he didn't think Obama's reliance on the Muslim Brotherhood was actually a good thing. He called the group "pro-democracy" in name, but not definition and also underscored the complexity of finding anti-regime, pro-reform allies that would also be likely to have the best interests of the United States in mind.

"Certainly there is no saint, but the 'pro-democracy movement,' quote, we knew that the strongest civil group, civil society group, if you will, in the country of Egypt was the Muslim Brotherhood. They were the main opponent to the regime in Egypt," Santorum said. "And there was certainly wide speculation that not only were they involved in the, quote, 'pro-democracy movement,' but they were certainly poised to benefit from a toppling of the regime because of the tremendous work that they had done in developing schools and educating the public. Egypt has become much more radicalized because of the Muslim Brotherhood over the years."

Santorum then blamed the president for not having better foresight about what would come about in a post-Mubarak Egypt influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood.

"[Obama] should have known what Egypt was really up to and what the Muslim Brotherhood and these, quote, 'pro-democracy' forces were up to, he should have known what was coming in after Mubarak," Santorum continued. "And he still acted to throw Mubarak under the bus and take that risk. Now, we see the risk come to fruition, and not only with the Muslim Brotherhood and the hostility towards Israel, but the rampant persecution of Coptic Christian in Egypt."

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