Santorum, prior to announcing bid, calls Obama a ‘paper tiger’ on Iranian nuke threat

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Hours before announcing his presidential run, Rick Santorum called President Obama a "paper tiger" with regard to Iran and threats to Israel.

Santorum, a former U.S. senator representing Pennsylvania, appeared on "Good Morning America" early Monday, hours before his official announcement, and said the Iranians are moving forward with a nuclear program while knowing "the president is not going to do anything to stop them.

“He has been a paper tiger and [the Iranians] are an existential threat to the State of Israel, and the Israelis know it and the Americans know it. And this president has not stepped forward and done anything to stop that threat,” Santorum said.

Santorum, a social conservative who lost re-election in 2006, spoke about his support for Israel at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference Saturday, the Hill reported.

"There is no greater friend to Israel than the social conservatives in America," Santorum said Saturday.

There are seven declared candidates for the Republican nomination, and many of them have made criticizing Obama’s Middle East policy a centerpiece of their campaigns.

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