Rick Santorum hinted Saturday in South Carolina that he is close to announcing whether he will again run for president, telling a gathering of conservative activists he’s driven by what he called President Barack Obama’s failures on national security.

“Russia, China and yes, radical Islam, is threatening our country,” the former Pennsylvania senator said. “Heck, I would just be happy if our president would be able to tell the difference between our friends and enemies.

“Let me give our president a primer: Iran, enemy. Israel, friend.”

Santorum said he had the experience to articulate a “vision of keeping America strong.”

He told the crowd: “I’ve been clear about the threat of radical Islam. This isn’t a war on terror. It’s a war on radical Islam.”

And he offered a solution: “Here’s what we need to do. If these people want to bring back a 7th Century version of Islam, my suggestion is to load our bombers up and bomb them back to the 7th century.”

Santorum, who narrowly won the lead-off Iowa caucuses in 2012, also touted his connections to South Carolina, the third state to cast ballots in the presidential primaries. Two of his sons attended The Citadel in Charleston, and he has a niece graduating Saturday from the University of South Carolina.

At the South Carolina Republican convention last week, Santorum was one of several leading figures to lambast Obama over international policy in general, and Iran and Israel in particular.

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, called the president’s international stewardship “an unmitigated disaster. Santorum called Obama “weak.” Rick Perry, Texas’ former governor, blasted “vacillation” by the administration. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called the president “feckless” on the world stage. And Graham and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas echoed each other as they accused Obama of “leading from behind.” All five pledged loyalty to Israel and expressed varying levels of disdain for Iran.

“The great issue of our time is a battle between western values of freedom and this totalitarian world view of Islamic fanatics,” Perry said at the convention.

Graham, at a breakfast he hosted for delegates, said, “They want to purify their religion and they want to destroy ours.”

Santorum went further, noting the public killings broadcast by Islamic State militants. “This is not a modern Islam,” he said. “It’s a 7th century Islam. So I have a suggestion: Let’s bomb them back to the 7th century.”