Graham's bid for Republican presidential nomination goes on national security offensive

Published on Monday, June 1, 2015

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Sen. Lindsey Graham announced his run for the Republican presidential nomination Monday in Central.

Published by permission of the Independent Mail

Sen. Lindsey Graham announced his run for the Republican presidential nomination Monday in Central.


South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham opened his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Monday as he reflected on his personal story.

Graham delivered his speech in front of the building where he grew up and his parents ran a pool hall, bar and restaurant. Graham's parents died when he was in college, leaving him as guardian to his then 13-year-old sister, Darline.

He quickly gave a grim review of radical Islam “running wild” in a world imperiled also by Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Graham, 59, dedicated himself to defeating U.S. adversaries – a commitment that would place thousands of troops back in Iraq, essentially re-engaging in a war launched in 2003,” the Associated Press reported.

“I've got one simple message. I have more experience with our national security than any other candidate in this race. That includes you, Hillary,” Graham said.

That directly reflected his taking on Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton -– the former secretary of state – as well as non-interventionists in his own party and rivals with little to no foreign policy experience, according to the AP report.

Graham won his third term in November. He is a prominent Senate voice in seeking a more muscular foreign policy and one who casts the threats facing the United States in particularly dark terms, AP reported.

“Simply put, radical Islam is running wild,” he said. “They have more safe havens, more money, more weapons and more capability to strike our homeland than any time since 9/11. They are large, they are rich, and they're entrenched.”

As president, Graham said, he’d “make them small, poor and on the run.”

“I'm afraid some Americans have grown tired of fighting them,” he said. “I have bad news to share with you - the radical Islamists are not tired of fighting you.”

Graham said Iran poses the gravest threat.

If the U.S. does not head off a nuclear capability in Iran, Graham said, “Iran will trigger a nuclear arms race in the least stable region on Earth, and make it more likely that people who aspire to genocide will have the most effective means to commit it.”

He said recently there is no avoiding the reality that more Americans will have to fight and die to defend the country.

Senator and presidential candidate, Kentucky's Rand Paul, favors less military intervention. Other Republican contenders sidestep details how they promise to quash Islamic State militants, the AP reported.

Graham said wealthier members of his generation will have to take fewer Social Security and Medicare benefits, while younger workers may have to work longer and pay more.

"We have to fix entitlement programs to make sure people who need the benefits the most receive them," he said. "That's going to require determined presidential leadership."





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