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Santorum fundraising off of Middle East unrest

Former Senator Rick Santorum used the rising violence in the Middle East as the basis for a fundraising e-mail sent out by his political advocacy organization today. “The news coming out of the Middle East is deeply saddening and concerning. Karen and I first want to express our condolences to the families of Ambassador Stevens and ...

Former Senator Rick Santorum used the rising violence in the Middle East as the basis for a fundraising e-mail sent out by his political advocacy organization today.

"The news coming out of the Middle East is deeply saddening and concerning. Karen and I first want to express our condolences to the families of Ambassador Stevens and the three other American officials who were killed in the recent terrorist attacks. Their service to our country was heroic and this senseless act of violence is horrifying," begins the e-mail signed by Santorum and sent out by Patriot Voices, the nonprofit 501(c)4 advocacy group he co-founded after he lost his primary bid.

"The incidents in Cairo and Benghazi are tragic. As we continue to learn more details, we must look to the immediate future and ask ourselves what does America stand for, and how will we stand for it?" Santorum wrote.

Former Senator Rick Santorum used the rising violence in the Middle East as the basis for a fundraising e-mail sent out by his political advocacy organization today.

“The news coming out of the Middle East is deeply saddening and concerning. Karen and I first want to express our condolences to the families of Ambassador Stevens and the three other American officials who were killed in the recent terrorist attacks. Their service to our country was heroic and this senseless act of violence is horrifying,” begins the e-mail signed by Santorum and sent out by Patriot Voices, the nonprofit 501(c)4 advocacy group he co-founded after he lost his primary bid.

“The incidents in Cairo and Benghazi are tragic. As we continue to learn more details, we must look to the immediate future and ask ourselves what does America stand for, and how will we stand for it?” Santorum wrote.

The organization has two missions: to help Mitt Romney defeat Barack Obama and to promote conservative policies and values, according to Santorum’s statements in June when it launched.

Like Romney, Santorum linked the recent violence to Obama’s overall approach to the region and Santorum’s e-mail tracks the Romney campaign’s argument that the Obama administration has been too conciliatory to adversaries, too cold to allies such as Israel, and has “led from behind” in foreign policy.

“Please continue to stand with me as we advocate for policies that properly defend Americans and their principles abroad. President Obama’s approach of apologizing to our enemies, turning our backs on our allies, and leading from behind weakens America and empowers our enemies. If American ideals are to remain prosperous here and abroad, the appeasement policies of this president must stop,” Santorum wrote.

The end of the e-mail contains the pitch with a link to the Patriot Voices donation page.

“Here at Patriot Voices, we are committed to ensuring that President Obama is not reelected and that commitment is even stronger following his reaction to these attacks,” it reads. “We will not back down in this effort. Please join with us today. Sincerely, Rick Santorum.”

Santorum posted a longer critique of the Obama administration’s handling of the Middle East today on the conservative website RedState.com earlier today.

“Radical Islam stands against this and remains our number one national security challenge. Pretending otherwise does not change that,” he wrote. “I’m not convinced that the President understands or believes this reality — not because of his heart but because of his policies and priorities.”

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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