Press Release - The Spencer Daily Reporter: Graham first candidate to appear in Spencer
Graham first candidate to appear in Spencer
By Randy M. Cauthron
July 2, 2015
The Spencer Daily Reporter (Iowa)
South Carolina senator and GOP presidential hopeful, Lindsey Graham, had no trouble articulating his primary issues of focus during a Thursday morning visit at the Terrazzo Coffeehouse inside the Spencer Dream Center. Graham told the group there are three things which will be the focus of his attention immediately should he receive the Republican nomination and then win the office of U.S. president.
"Too many terrorists. Too much debt. Too few jobs," he said to the audience.
Graham demonstrated a passion for eliminating the terrorist enemies the U.S. faces around the globe.
"The biggest mistake he (President Obama) made was leaving too soon," Graham said of the troop withdrawal plan. "He should have listened to his commanders."
Graham served in the U.S. Air Force and recently ended his military career as a colonel in the Air Force Reserves after 33 years.
"If you're looking for a guy who will tell you we can beat ISIL without sending in more troops, I'm not your guy," Graham admitted. He suggested he would raise the troop count from 3,500 to 10,000 to deal with the enemy. "I want our special forces guys on the ground killing these guys every night."
The candidate insisted Iraq can't be fixed without fixing Syria and Graham said Obama doesn't have a plan for Syria. He suggested bringing together other players in the region to gather their military might and work with the U.S. and go in and put this terrorist threat down for good.
"There is a desire in the Middle East for America to come back," he said. "And they need to stop funding terrorists."
The senator continued, "Terrorism is growing because of the vacuum in Iran and Syria. The Middle East is falling apart. These guys are promising a glorious death. We need to be selling a hopeful life."
That would involve having a presence in the region to help establish infrastructure and opportunity, working with law enforcement and helping to setup educational opportunities for those who live in the region to succeed.
"That will not be easy, but if somebody doesn't do it, there will be another 9/11. The reason they only killed 3,000 instead of 3 million was because they couldn't get a weapon to kill 3 million. But they're trying."
Graham also stressed the importance of keeping nuclear capability out of Iran. He indicated that any deal that doesn't include unrestricted access to Iran's nuclear project sites is a bad deal and shouldn't be made. The senator also noted that no funding should be sent to Iran as they will simply add it to their war chest.
[Graham] knows first hand the importance of social security in the lives of families and is dedicated to fighting for its survival.
"What would I do to save Social Security? Almost anything. Because it was there when my family needed it," Graham said of the survivor benefits he and his sister received when their parents past.
But something has to give he pointed out, people are living longer and the working population is shrinking. Today, two people are being asked to fund one when the job used to fall on 16.
"There are 80 million baby boomers that are going to retire. We want our money," he said, smiling.
The keys to saving the program is raising the retirement age for "younger" workers and eliminating medical subsidies to those in high-end income brackets.
"People in my income level can pay a little more or take a little less ... we're running out of money," Graham said, adding something has to give. "We made more promises than we can keep. It's a problem for Japan. A problem for Western Europe. ... We're going to become Greece if we don't change."
He added, "There's no easy way out — but there's a way out."
The key is leadership according to Graham. He indicated a need to get Republicans, Democrats and Independents in a room together to work things out because there is no other choice.
"There's an $18 trillion deficit," the senator said. "It's a result of bipartisanship. One party can't get you $18 trillion in debt."
The candidate was asked, why, knowing what's causing the problems, is the United States still in the mess it's in?
Graham's answer was simple, pointing out that people in his profession are worried about remaining in their position. "Every bill is a jobs bill — our jobs."
During his opening comments, Graham took a few moments to thank everyone for the prayers regarding the recent tragedy in the state involving a teen and a racially motivated assault on a black church congregation which killed several members.
"It's been a tough couple of weeks at home," he said. "We have really been on people's minds ... Since that day until now, the people are looking forward. People are coming together in South Carolina like never before.
Graham also addressed the role of the Iowa Caucus in the presidential election process.
"The caucuses are good for democracy. Don't let them take away your caucuses," he said.
Lindsey Graham, Press Release - The Spencer Daily Reporter: Graham first candidate to appear in Spencer Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/312229