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Rick Santorum: Obama's Apology For Quran Burning 'Shows Weakness'

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Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum accused President Barack Obama of "weakness" on Sunday for apologizing to the Islamic world over the U.S. military's recent burning of Qurans in Afghanistan.

The destruction of copies of the Muslim holy book has outraged much of the international Islamic community, and Obama apologized for what the American government has described as the inadvertent disposal of Qurans in a fire. Santorum's latest rhetorical attack on the president follows his recent questioning of Obama's religion, in which Santorum claimed Obama subscribes to a "phony theology."

During a Sunday appearance on ABC News, Santorum said that Obama should not have apologized for the holy book destruction because the U.S. military had only accidentally burned Qurans. Santorum then added that Obama's apology, rather than the actual burning of Qurans, was hurting both the image of America abroad and the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan.

"There was nothing deliberately done wrong here. This was something that happened as a mistake. Killing Americans in uniform is not a mistake ... when that is occurring, you should not be apologizing for something that was -- an unfortunate -- say it’s unfortunate, say that this is something that should have been done," Santorum said. "To apologize for something that was not an intentional act is something that the president of the United States, in my opinion, should not have done."

"But if it was a mistake, isn’t apologizing the right, important thing to do?" asked ABC News host George Stephanopoulos.

"It suggests that there is somehow blame, this is somehow that we did something wrong in the sense of doing a deliberate act wrong," Santorum replied. "I think it shows that we are -- that I think it shows weakness."

Appearing on NBC's "Meet The Press," Santorum again criticized Obama's apology, saying that the Afghanistan government and President Hamid Karzai should apologize to the United States for "attacking and killing our men and women in uniform."

Santorum was heavily criticized last week for challenging Obama's religous faith, with many observers suggesting that his comment played to conspiracy theories among the Republican base that maintain Obama is secretly Muslim. Santorum's latest Islam-oriented criticism of the president comes as polls show a close race between Santorum and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the upcoming primary battle in Michigan.

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