TUCSON, Ariz. – As mentioned previously, I spent Rick Santorum’s speech talking to shut-out fans in a parking lot; my handy tape recorder captured his words, and I recovered it from some no-longer-harried Tea Party staffers. (One issue they had to get past: A possible Santorum speech to the shut-outs was proposed, but scrapped, as the organizers wanted Santorum to know that he was talking to a Tea Party crowd, not just a GOP crowd.
Listening to the speech now, I’m reminded how basically unexamined Santorum is as a candidate-pundit. Foreign policy – his balliwick when he was out of the Senate – took up a good portion of the speech, and Santorum drove his remarks home with a line that wasn’t all correct. Ronald Reagan, he said, would call people “yes, evil! He identified it, clearly. Why? Because America stands for something!” Meanwhile, “the president refuses to call evil, evil! Refuses to even name it! Refuses to confront it!”
This was a little hyperbolic: The president has called terrorists and other villains “evil,” and semi-controversially. Santorum was trying to make another point.
“He’ll help the Muslim Brotherhood overthrow our old ally in Egypt,” he said. “He’ll help rebels overthrow a dictator in Libya who was no threat to us.”