Obamacare will be “the centerpiece” of the presidential debate in the fall, says Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
The key question is, “Did Obamacare live up to its billing?” the South Carolina lawmaker said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“The vice president whispered to the president when they signed the bill two years ago, ‘This is big effing deal,’” Graham said, recalling Joe Biden’s gaffe from that time. “Well now, it’s become a big effing mess for the Democratic Party and the country as a whole.”
The individual mandate portion of President Barack Obama’s signature legislation will “bankrupt the country” and kill jobs among small businesses, he said.
“No employer is going to hire robustly until they know what the healthcare cost is going to be,” he said.
Graham, who serves on the Armed Services Committee, also addressed the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying that Congress should “listen to the general.”
“We don’t need a bunch of politicians trying to create a military exit strategy,” he said. “It is my hope that President Obama will follow Gen. [John] Allen’s withdrawal plan and a strategic-partnership agreement between us and Afghanistan. It’s the last card to play, and it really matters that we get it right.
“This counterterrorism force that would be left behind in 2014 would be an insurance policy against the Taliban ever taking over Afghanistan,” Graham said.
Regarding another controversy on the national scene — the shooting death of central Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, Graham said Obama’s comments about the case carried racial overtones that were not helpful in ensuring that justice is served.
“I don’t think it was overly helpful to the debate,” he said. “We all know there’s a racial component to this, and when the president highlights it, I don’t think it adds a whole lot.”
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