Lindsey Graham: ‘I Understand the Military Better Than Anyone Else Running’

Lindsey Graham
AP/Rainier Ehrhardt

On his SiriusXM Patriot show, David Webb spoke with Republican presidential candidate South Carolina Sen. Senator Lindsey Graham was part of his “Person Behind the Policies” segment. Webb asked Graham, who is polling at one percent, about his strategy and how he can win Iowa.

“I’m going to make the argument that the last thing in the world you want to do after Barack Obama has been president is elect a novice commander in chief,” stated Graham. “I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan 35 times. I learned a lot from [George W.] Bush’s mistakes. I learned a lot from Obama’s mistakes and my own. I understand the military better than anyone else running.”

Graham is the third candidate to criticize Bush’s tactics concerning Iraq. Jeb Bush, Bush’s brother, and Rick Perry admitted the former president made mistakes with the Iraq War. However, despite insisting he learned from Bush’s mistakes, Graham told Webb he would add even more boots on the ground.

“I have a concrete strategy that will destroy ISIL,” continued Graham. “It will require more American boots on the ground in Iraq… 10,000, not 3,500. To destroy them in Syria you will need a regional army, which we will be a part of. And I am the best qualified on day to be commander in chief in dangerous times.”

But some experts believe the next president will not receive support to put more troops in the Middle East, even with groups like ISIS terrorizing Iraq and Syria.

“If any of them are elected, they’re not going to take office in a background of high government trust,” explained Cato Institute’s Gene Healy, who studies executive power. “They’re not going to operate in a political environment where skepticism toward big government initiatives like the Iraq War is temporarily suspended. I don’t think anyone elected in 2016, barring some unforeseen extenuating circumstances, is going to have the kind of freedom of action that a high level of government trust provides.”

Graham also believes his ability to work with Democrats is something GOP voters enjoy. He said that his work “with Democrats to fix immigration” and Social Security is proof he has the “skill set” to being everyone together. Yet, Graham is often labeled as a Democrat when it comes to immigration and spending. At one time he said the “rich should be willing to pay a little more to help those in need.” He told Webb he would take the cuts.

“I’m 60,” he said. “I’m not married and I don’t have any children. I will gladly give up some of my benefits to save the system for those who need it.”