Rick Santorum understands that the events of September 11, 2001 brought to our front door the uncomfortable truth that attacks on our soil are not merely a distant possibility, but a harsh reality.
To combat this threat, Rick refused to back down from those who wish to destroy America. Rick Santorum understands that those who wish to destroy America do so because they hate everything we are -- a land of freedom, a land of prosperity, a land of equality. Rick knows that backing down to the Jihadists means that we are only putting our foundational principles at greater risk. As an elected representative, Rick knew that his greatest responsibility was to protect the freedoms we enjoy -- and we should not apologize for holding true to these principles.
That is why Rick refuses to call this a War on Terror, because, like Blitzkrieg, terror is a tactic. Rick believes our nation's leaders must be honest with the American people and call this war what it is, a War with Radical Islam. Rick saw firsthand during the Bush Administration that without clearly defining who we are fighting and why we are fighting, the American people will never understand the great threat posed by our enemies.
Rick did not simply use his position in the United States Senate to fight rhetorical battles, he used every legislative tool at his disposal to combat rogue regimes that wish our nation harm. Rick spent 8 years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he fought to strengthen America's military in the face of the Clinton Administration's attempt to downsize our fighting capabilities.
In 2003, Rick authored and successfully fought for the passage of the "Syria Accountability Act" to combat the terrorist threat posed by Syria. By 2005, Rick was one of our nation's first leaders to understand the threat posed by Iran, so he authored and passed the "Iran Freedom and Support Act" in the face Democratic and Bush State Department opposition, which authorized Federal monies to support pro-democracy movements in Iran and keep the tyrannical dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Though the war in Iraq was unpopular in 2006, Rick refused to shy away from his belief that we need to confront our enemies. Though ridiculed by many in the mainstream media as a chicken little for talking about the threat posed by Ahmadinejad and Iran, Rick spent much of his campaign focused on the gathering storm that our enemies pose. In an election that was a referendum on the war, Rick was defeated.
Though he lost at the ballot box, Rick has not stopped fighting for the defense our nation. Since leaving the Senate in 2007, Rick created the "Program to Protect America's Freedom" at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he worked to identify, study, and heighten awareness of the threats posed to America. Through his work, Rick spoke at dozens of university campuses and to thousands of college students about the threats to our nation and how it is critical that the next generation of leaders not back down, but defend our nation.