MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina — GOP presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention attendees to “not act out of anger” when electing the next President of the United States.
“I understand you want to fight. You want to do something different,” he said, adding “there’s a difference between fighting and anger,” he told the Tea Party supporters gathered here. “Please pray and do the right thing. Don’t act out of anger,” he said.
The country “is in need of big changes,” he said, while urging attendees to pick an experienced conservative.
If conservatives are concerned about being disappointed after sending someone to Washington, that “if that is a concern of yours, then why would you for President of the United States support someone who has no record?”
“I believe that Washington is the problem that we confront,” Santorum continued.
“Four years ago if you recall, we took on the establishment. A lot of folks were asked to run and were recruited to run against the establishment candidate… and a lot of folks – some of them running this time – decided not to run. Didn’t want to run against the Republican establishment. I stepped up and I worked hard and we came this close to winning the Republican nomination.”
“I will tell you that there is one candidate in this race who has experience” and “fought those battles,” he added. “We’ve had politically correct politicians for far too long …who are not telling the truth to the American people.”
On terrorism, he said that “both parties have not been honest about the nature of this threat.”
“I tried to understand the history of this [terrorist] movement,” he told the audience, saying that “the threats we face today are not new threats to the west” and “if you would listen to our politicians, you wouldn’t even recognize these things.”
“We have paid a dear price for not having a strong candidate on national security four years ago” Santorum warned, saying it will happen again this election if America doesn’t elect a candidate “who doesn’t want to weaken our ability to protect us here at home.”
He stressed that the Islamic State (ISIS) has established a caliphate, which is like a kingdom. “It has to be thought of differently. It has to be attacked differently,” Santorum explained.
Santorum said he is the only presidential candidate that has been “listed as an enemy of ISIS.” The audience that the radical Islamic terrorists were “calling me a crusader,” he said, adding that it’s “because I’ve been fighting them. I’ve been fighting ISIS and its predecesers of al Qaeda…all these terrorist groups, I’ve been fighting them and doing something about it.”
Santorum stated his record as the a former senator that pushed for sanctions on Assad in Syria and also in Iran.
“The sanctions that I worked hard to get passed in 2006 are being removed today,” he said, adding it’s a “sad day for me.”
Santorum told the crowd that America needs a president that is going to tell the American people the truth.
“You better tell America the truth at a time when America is feeling insecure,” he charged. “Americans are going to be looking for who can they trust.”
“If we aren’t the movement… [that is] giving the opportunity for people to rise again… then we’re not going to win the states we need to win,” Santorum said, referencing Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan as examples.
He also stressed that America needs a president that understands that “it takes a family.”
“When the family breaks down, government is there to pick up the pieces,” he added.
Santorum told the Tea Party supporters to “channel that anger” and elect someone who can fight and win.
Before ending his speech, Santorum introduced two of his family members from The Citadel in South Carolina who joined him at the event.
“Please pray and do the right thing. Don’t act out of anger,” he told the crowd before exiting the stage.