Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum stopped in Tucson to speak during a Tea Party event Wednesday. Arizona's Presidential Primary is Tuesday, Feb. 28.
The campaign event, hosted by the Tucson Tea Party, preceded Santorum's return to Phoenix, where he will participate in a televised debate against hopefuls Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul.
In his speech to a capacity crowd, Santorum criticized President Barack Obama for his misdirection of America on topics including immigration, foreign policy, taxes, and health care.
"If we're going to turn this country around, and restore it to those constitutional principles that you folks believe in, we're going to have to defeat Barrack Obama right here in Arizona," he said.
Santorum said Obama has not only failed on national security issues, but has made America and the world a more dangerous place to live in by undermining overseas allies like Israel and the United Kingdom, while simultaneously taking a diplomatic approach with countries like Iran.
"Obama refuses to call evil ‘evil,'" said Santorum. "The Iranian government is actively engaged in harming the United States, holding our hostages, killing our troops through the production of IED's and other avenues."
According to Santorum, Obama has done an equally poor job on securing the America's southern border, and pledged that if he were elected, he would complete the border wall, which stands at 42 percent complete.
"How can you be 42 percent secure?" asked Santorum. "You're either secure or you're not."
Santorum said he would make border security a priority by working with the Mexican government to deal with the national security issues that come with drug violence and Mexican cartels to make Arizona a safer place to live.
Santorum said "big government" has overrun the principles in which the United States was founded on, and pledged he would work to return the country to its founding principles of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
"We need to get the government of the backs of the American people," he said. "The engine of growth in America is small business, that entrepreneur that can respond to the marketplace, take an idea, and turn it into a big business, but the government is making it hard for those small businesses to compete."
Santorum said Obama's plan for the working man is "food stamps and more government."
Santorum claimed the economy is hurting largely as a result of Obama's refusal to take part in energy exploration, particularly in relationship to oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Santorum said in 5-10 years, opportunities to take advantage of Alaska's coastal oil will no longer be an option because it is gradually being depleted. He questioned how Obama can justify drilling in suburban areas, but neglect drilling in a barren area of Alaska.
"It's a radical ideology that puts Earth above man," said Santorum. "What happened in 2008 that led us into this recession in the first place was a spike in energy prices."
On the topic of health care, Santorum called "ObamaCare" "the number one threat to freedom in America" and said Obama cares more about getting people addicted to government programs than he does about the people themselves.
Santorum closed his speech with a message to the audience.
"This is the most important election of your lifetime," he said. "You have an opportunity to speak loudly. Shake those folks in Washington D.C. up."
The Arizona republican presidential primary election takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 28.