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Story highlights

Rick Santorum said Tuesday Donald Trump is still learning foreign policy

Santorum believes voters will eventually support him

Washington CNN —  

Rick Santorum said Tuesday that Donald Trump’s waffling on the U.S. invasion into Afghanistan reveals the front-runner’s ignorance on foreign policy issues.

“Donald Trump is someone who seems to be sort of feeling his way through on the issue of national security right now,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.” “Obviously answering that question two weeks apart completely differently is not something you would expect out of a presidential candidate. But Donald Trump is sort of a different kind of presidential candidate. And we’ll just have to let those things sort of play themselves out a bit.”

The former Pennsylvania senator is polling at 2% in the most recent CNN/ORC poll, but said he believes voters will eventually come around.

“What happens in these early primary states, they take this very seriously, and they’ll date around. And they’ll eventually decide who they’re going to marry. And I feel like we’re the guy you bring home to mom,” he said.

Santorum said polling so poorly this cycle after winning the Iowa Republican Caucuses in 2012 has been a bit of a reality check, in a separate CNN interview earlier on Tuesday.

“It is, in many respects, a humbling experience … If I didn’t love it I wouldn’t do it,” he said. “We’re sort of the patron saint of underdog candidates for president. We were the most unlikely of candidates to win and were not in the race until the very end.”

Santorum said voters are drawn to candidates like Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina because of “the novelty factor.”

“You’ve got all these new fancy models and you want to take them for a drive,” he said. “The bloom comes off the rose at some point. We’re still 3.5 months before the caucus. The pack can turn.