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EXCLUSIVE — Rick Santorum: GOP Presidential Candidates ‘Courageous’ Identifying ‘The Ideology’ of Radical Islam

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — GOP presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — the only GOP candidate to appear in person at the Nevada National Security Action Summit— told the crowd that the next president must “challenge the Islamic world to take seriously the threat within.”

Santorum told Breitbart News that fellow GOP candidates are “courageous” for identifying the ideology that poses a domestic threat.

Following his speech, Santorum sat down exclusively with Breitbart News and commented on the fact that he was the only GOP candidate to appear in person at the event.

“This is an important issue for this country,” he said of national security.

There are groups out there that have been on the vanguard of this who have tried to alert the American public of the threat of radical Islam or jihadists – not just overseas, but here in this country – and have taken some heat for dong it. I know a lot of folks as a result of that have decided to not attend some of these events, but I can tell you that well I can’t say I agree with everything that comes out of everybody’s mouths … that I think [this] group has done a real service to the country in identifying the domestic threat as well as being courageous enough to identify the ideology that we’re confronting.

Along with Santorum, many leaders in the Republican Party, as well as GOP presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Dr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina – appearing by video – addressed the issue of national security at the Nevada National Security Action Summit in Las Vegas on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s fifth GOP primary debate and at a time when national security has become a top issue for 2016 voters following the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.

Cruz, who prepared a video statement for the audience, stressed that leaders must “keep us safe here at home,” adding that protecting America’s freedom “should not be a new standard.”

“It is long past time to secure the border,” Cruz said during his prepared video statement. He said that when terrorists are able to swim across the Rio Grande, “We’re daring them to make the journey.”

“Border security is national security. We need a president with the political will to secure the border once and for all,” stressed Cruz.

Fiorina also prepared a video statement for the crowd.

“Like all of you I’m angry,” she said. “I am angry that just hours before the Paris attacks began and against all the evidence, President Obama declared ISIS contained and took a victory lap.”

She also slammed Obama for planning on bringing more Syrian refugees into the United States despite the fact that U.S. officials have said they cannot be fully vetted.

In his video statement, Dr. Ben Carson said, “We need to start thinking about how we’re using the internet to our advantage,” stressing that jihadists are using the internet to their advantage.

Tommy Waller, the Director of State Legislative Outreach at the Center for Security Policy, spoke to Breitbart News about hosting the summit, saying that “Right now, there’s an awakening – thankfully a small awakening – in the nation’s ability to see the threats that it faces.”

“There’s a bit of an awakening in the nation that the nation has been kept in the dark – at least on [this] threat – the threat from the global Jihad movement,” he explained

Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton and Congressman Joe Heck also attended the summit.

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