Tags: Trump Administration | Ebola Outbreak | ISIS/Islamic State | lindsey graham | presidential | bid

Lindsey Graham Downplays Talk of 2016 Bid

By    |   Sunday, 05 October 2014 01:25 PM

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham backed off a hint he made late last week that he may be ready to run for the presidency, telling CNN "State of the Union" host Candy Crowley Sunday that he's concentrating on his Senate race.

"I know what it's like to run for president," Graham said. "I'm running for the Senate. I know what it takes to put an organization together, to put the money together ... I am nowhere near there."

But last week, the veteran Republican told The Weekly Standard that if he gets through his Senate race, and if "nobody steps up in the presidential mix, if nobody's out there talking ... I may just jump in to get to make these arguments."

Further, he told The Weekly Standard that he is not impressed with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as a candidate.

“He’s a good guy, but after doing immigration with him — we don’t need another young guy not quite ready,” said Graham. “He’s no Obama by any means, but he’s so afraid of the right, and I’ve let that go.”

Graham did not mention Rubio by name on the CNN program Sunday.

The South Carolina lawmaker said he has several goals should he win his reelection bid, including replacing sequestration cuts that have led to problems with the nation's security, including cuts to the Centers for Disease Control in the wake of the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Africa.

"We're cutting the CDC's budget, we're taking the military budget under sequestration cuts down to the smallest army since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1915," said Graham. "We're destroying the Intelligence Committee."

He wants to meet not only with fellow Republican McCain, but also with colleagues from across the aisle including Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to discuss replacing the cuts.

"Republicans have to give on revenue, close deductions in the tax code and put the money back in the sequestration and entitlement reform," said Graham. "Finally, I want any deal that involves the Iranian nuclear program, which is the biggest issue facing the world [which is] whether or not we're going to control the Iranian nuclear ambitions, to come to the Congress for an up or down vote."

Graham, on Sunday's program, also discussed the challenges the United States is facing in its battle to contain the Islamic State's movements in Iraq and Syria, reiterating that he does not believe airstrikes alone are enough to win a fight against the militants.

"The idea of hitting them in Syria is long overdue because it makes it harder for them to reinforce Iraq, but this strategy of bombardment is not going to work to destroy ISIL," said Graham, comparing "radical Islam" to the spread of Ebola in Africa.

"The stronger Ebola gets in Africa, the more it spreads and more entrenched it is, the more endangered we are," he said. "The same for radical Islam in the Mid-East. It seems to be that the president is all in when it comes to Ebola. I want to compliment him for sending troops to help get ahead of this in Africa, but we have a series of half-measures with ISIL."

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South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham backed off a hint he made late last week that he may be ready to run for the presidency, telling CNN State of the Union host Candy Crowley Sunday that he's concentrating on his Senate race. I know what it's like to run for...
lindsey graham, presidential, bid
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2014-25-05
Sunday, 05 October 2014 01:25 PM
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