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Santorum blames Obama, in part, for Afghanistan bombing

WASHINGTON and SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum blamed a suicide bombing that killed 12 Americans yesterday in Afghanistan, in part, on President Obama.

"I think this is part of the consequences" of giving a timeline for when U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan, Santorum said yesterday at a fundraising dinner for Congressman Steve King (R-IA).

“[T]his is a dangerous enemy that has something that no enemy of the United States should have,” Santorum said, “And it was given to them by President Obama. And that is hope. They were given hope because the President of the United States said that he’s putting a timeline as to when American troops were going to leave. Once he’s done that, once he did that, he gave the enemy the hope that if they simply survive until then and maintain some level of activity that America will leave, and I think the best thing we can do for our troops is give them the best possible chance for success. And this President has not--, and I think this is part of the consequences.”

The suicide car bombing was “the single deadliest assault on Americans in the capital since the war began,” the New York Times writes.

Despite the death of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, and the ouster of Moammar Khaddafy, Santorum derided President Obama as a “weak horse” on foreign affairs.

“America’s foreign policy, it is pathetic,” Santorum said. "And as a result, we are vulnerable. We haven’t seen it yet, but it’s only a matter of time before a weak America is going to be preyed upon, because they do not believe this president has the ability or the courage to stand up and fight for ourselves.”

Santorum said, if he were president, “[W]e would commit ourselves to success in Afghanistan.”

What would constitute success in Afghanistan and when would U.S. soldiers leave under a President Santorum? 

“Success would be very clearly defined as the Taliban being, the threat of the Taliban would be diminished to the point it would not be significant to the security of the country of Afghanistan,” the former Pennsylvania senator said, adding, “[T]he issue is whether we will have, whatever government left behind, would be stable and secure enough to survive whatever threat. No one can suggest you can eliminate a threat, but you can reduce it to where it is not significant and once we have that accomplished, then we pull back and transition out of the country.”