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Santorum says Obama shares blame for anti-US violence

NBC's Domenico Montanaro reports on the Values Voter Summit in Washington and what Republicans are doing to try and rally the conservative base. Plus, the fatal mistake the Romney campaign may have made in elevating Bill Clinton.

WASHINGTON -- Appearing at an annual gathering of conservative Christian voters, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum accused President Barack Obama of "coddling and appeasing" America's enemies and said the Obama administration is at least partially responsible for ongoing violence in post-Arab Spring nations.

"This president has to take a share of the responsibility for what the Middle East looks like today because he helped structure it," Santorum told attendees at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., adding that Obama has "turned his back" on allies like Israel and the government of Egypt.

"He has sent a very clear message to that area of the world," he said of Obama. "If you're a friend of the United States, you're on your own. If you are an enemy of the United States, let's talk."

Anti-U.S. protests rocked over 20 nations across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia this week, and four Americans were killed during an attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has slammed the Obama administration for "apologizing" for American values in its dealings with Islamic militants, a sentiment that his former rival Santorum echoed today.

"Gov. Romney boldly went out and called this administration on their policies, their weak, lead-from-behind appeasing policies against those who threaten us and our security," Santorum said. "He stood up and called them what they were."

While he fought bitterly against the now-GOP nominee in the Republican primary, the former Pennsylvania senator repeatedly praised Romney before the audience of Christian social conservatives, a group that represents the backbone of Santorum's political base.

"I'm so encouraged that Gov. Romney has embraced some of the things I campaigned upon and that you across America have encouraged me to give voice to," he said. "He's giving voice to those things because he understands who we are. Mitt Romney understands America. He understands those values. And he shares those values."