Lindsey Graham in CNN 2015 GOP primary debate


On Government Reform: Supreme Court decided gay marriage; it's the law of the land

SANTORUM: What the Supreme Court did [in legalizing same-sex marriage] is against the natural law, it's against God's law and we have every obligation to stand in opposition to it.

PATAKI: We're going to have a president who defies the Supreme Court because they don't agree?

SANTORUM: I hope so. If they're wrong.

PATAKI: Then you don't have the rule of law.

SANTORUM: No, what you have is judicial supremacy. You don't have a rule of law when the court has the final say on everything.

GRAHAM: I wasn't the best law student. But on the first day in law school we reviewed a case called "Marbury v. Madison." The group in our constitutional democracy that interprets the Constitution is the Supreme Court. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court have ruled that same-sex marriage bans at the state level violate the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause. I don't agree with it, but that is the law of the land.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Government Reform: 2016 election will determine judiciary for decades to come

To the Republicans, the biggest prize on the table in 2017 is the presidency. If it is Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, they are going to pick people that we will disagree with all the time. Please understand, we have to win this election. The court's at stake. It is the most important reason for us to turn out, to make sure we don't lose the judiciary for decades to come.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Health Care: Oppose ObamaCare but don't shut down government for that

We're running to be president of the United States, the most important job in the free world. With it comes a certain amount of honesty. I'm tired of telling people things they want to hear that I know we can't do. If I am president of the United States, I wouldn't put one penny in my budget for Planned Parenthood, not one penny. I'm as offended by these videos as you are. But the one thing I'm not going to do going into 2016 is shut the government down and tank our ability to win.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Homeland Security: We need to monitor Islamic websites

Kim Davis, I'm not worried about her attacking me. I am worried about radical Islamic terrorists who are already here planning another 9/11. We're at war, folks. I'm not fighting a crime. I want to have a legal system that understands the difference between fighting a war and fighting a crime, and here's the reality. Young men from the Mideast are different than Kim Davis. And we've got to understand that. Islamic websites need to be monitored. And if you are on one, I want to know what you're doing
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Homeland Security: Hillary Clinton let Benghazi become a death trap

I thought Secretary Clinton did a good job when it came to dealing with our problems in Africa, particularly among women. Here's my problem with Secretary Clinton. Where the hell were you on the night of the Benghazi attack? How did you let it become a death threat to begin with? And why did you lie about what happened to these people? And if you want a new change in terms of foreign policy, don't pick her, because she's his secretary of state.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Homeland Security: Give military leaders anything they need

Q: Would you authorize a nuclear strike against Iran's nuclear facilities?

GRAHAM: If I believed they were trying to get a bomb, absolutely. And here's the most important thing: they know I would if I had to. None of us are going to be able to defend this country adequately until we rebuild our military. The first thing I'm going to do as commander in chief on day one is call the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and say, what do you need that you don't have?

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Homeland Security: Stop closing military bases; I'll open MORE bases

I will win a war that we can't afford to lose. I have a plan to destroy radical Islam because it has to be. These are religious Nazis running while President Obama has made one mistake after another and it's caught up with us. I get my foreign policy from being in on the ground. I've been to Iraq and Afghanistan in the Middle East 35 times in the last decade, trying to understand how we got in this mess. On my watch, we're going to open up more bases.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Immigration: We can't deport 11M illegals, but we can start

Q: Governor Pataki says we shouldn't "tell children born in America that we're going to send them back." Why do you think Governor Pataki is wrong?

GRAHAM: We're not going to deport 11 million people here illegally, but we'll start with felons, and off they go. And, as to the rest, you can stay, but you got to learn our language. Speaking English is a good thing. You got to pay taxes, you got to pay a fine, you got to get in the back of the line. You've got to secure your border or they'll keep coming. If you don't control who gets a job that never ends. As to birthright citizenship, once we clean up this mess, in the future, prospectively, I'm going to look at the following. There are people buying tourist visas that go to resorts with maternity wards with the expressed purpose of having children here in America. Yeah, I'd like to stop that in the future.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Immigration: We need more legal immigration

In 1950, there were 16 workers for every retiree. How many are there today? There are three. In 20 years, there's going to be two, and you're going to have 80 million baby boomers retiring and wanting a Social Security check and their Medicare bills paid. We're going to need more legal immigration. Let's pick people from all over the world on our terms, not just somebody from Mexico. Thurmond had four kids after he was 67, if you're not willing to do that, we've got to come up with a new system.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Jobs: Increasing the minimum wage makes it harder to hire people

When my mom and dad owned a restaurant, the bar, the pool room, if you increased the minimum wage it'd been hard to hire more people. I'm not going to increase the minimum wage, I'm going to try to create an environment where somebody else will open up a restaurant across the street to hire you away at a higher rate, or they'll have to pay you more to keep you.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Principles & Values: Experienced leader for libertarians,vegetarians, you name it

Q: In this election season, do Republican voters see your service in government as a liability and not an asset?

GRAHAM: Well, what I hope Republican voters, libertarian, vegetarians, Democrats, you name it, will look for somebody to lead us in a new direction, domestically, but particularly on the foreign policy front. President Obama is making a mess of the world. What I'm trying to tell you here tonight, that Syria is hell on Earth. I've been there 35 times to Iraq and Afghanistan. I am ready to be commander-in-chief on day one. I've been in the military 33 years, 140 days on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am so ready to get on with winning a war that we can't afford to lose. I hope you believe that experience matters. When you vote for commander-in-chief, they are stuck with your choice. We've had one novice being commander-in- chief. Let's don't replace one novice with another.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Principles & Values: Reagan drank with opponents; let's drink more like that

Q: Senator Graham has praised Secretary of State Clinton as a great choice to be the secretary of state. Can anyone from inside of Washington win this election cycle, having said nice things that way?

JINDAL: No. And they shouldn't win this election cycle. We have got the majority; what good has it done us? They are not willing to stand up to fight for the issues that count.

GRAHAM: Ronald Reagan did a couple of really big things that we should all remember. He sat down with Tip O'Neill, the most liberal guy in the entire House. They started drinking together. That's the first thing I'm going to do as president. We're going to drink more. And what did these two great Irishmen do? They found a way to save Social Security from bankruptcy by adjusting the age of retirement from 65 to 67. So, yes, I will say nice things at times about Democrats. Yes, I will work them.

I will put the country ahead of party. Absolutely I want to work with them.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Principles & Values: My dad ran a pool room; I'm not elite

I've been called a lot of things but never elite before. My dad owned a liquor store, a bar and a poolroom. So only in America can you go from the back of a liquor store to being an elite.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On Social Security: I don't want a lecture about Soc.Sec,; I want to save it

When my mom died, I was 21. When my dad died, I was 22. We were wiped out financially. If it weren't for Social Security survivor benefit check coming into Darline, we wouldn't have made it. I don't need a lecture from Democrats about Social Security. I want to save it, just like Ronald Reagan did.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On War & Peace: If we don't destroy ISIL soon, they're coming here

Q: You are calling for an additional 20,000 U.S. ground forces to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria and you have said that anyone who's not willing to do that should not be commander in chief.

GRAHAM: Right.

Q: No one on this stage has gone that far. So are you saying that they are not fit for the Oval Office?

GRAHAM: If they don't understand that Barack Obama's policies are not working, that we're not going to destroy ISIL in Iraq and Syria from the air, they are not ready. If we don't destroy ISIL soon, they are coming here. We're going to need a regional army, the Turks, the Jordanians, the Saudis, the Egyptians get their armies up together and 90% of it will be them. They're going to pay for this war because we paid for the last two. But 10 percent at least will have to be us and we're going in on the ground and we're going to pull the caliphate up by its roots and we're going to kill every one of these bastards we can find because, if we don't, they are coming here.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On War & Peace: Destroy radical Islam like Reagan destroyed the Evil Empire

I'm the only candidate tonight who served in the military while Ronald Reagan was our president and our commander in chief. It was one of the highlights of my life. I'm running for president to destroy radical Islam, to win the war on terror, to protect you and your family. And in that quest, I have an uncompromising determination to win this war, just like President Reagan had an uncompromising determination to destroy the evil empire, and win the Cold War.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On War & Peace: I have a plan to fight ISIL: ground forces in Syria & Iraq

All of us are going to say we want to destroy ISIL. I have a plan to do it. If I'm president, we're going to send more ground forces into Iraq. President Obama made a mistake by leaving too soon against military advice. To every candidate, would you go from 3,500 to 10,000 American boots on the ground in Iraq? Because if you don't, we're going to lose. Are you willing to send American combat forces into Syria as part of a regional army, because if you don't, we'll never destroy ISIL in Syria.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On War & Peace: Help the Free Syrian Army; but Obama said no

Q: Your response when it comes to Syrian refugees?

GRAHAM: Number one, how does President Obama sleep at night? Look what you let happen on your watch. Your commanders told you, "don't withdraw from Iraq because we'll lose our gains." Three years ago your entire national security team, Senator McCain and I begged you to do a no-fly zone and help the Free Syrian Army while it would matter. But you said no. I'm blaming Barack Obama for this mess.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

On War & Peace: There's nobody left in Syria to train; need regional army

If I'm president of the United States, I've told you what I'm going to do. There's nobody left in Syria to train. We're going to get a regional army who doesn't like ISIL, who won't accept Assad, because he's a puppet of Iran. We're going in [with troops on] the ground, and we're going to destroy the caliphate, pull it up by roots, and we're going to hold the territory.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

The above quotations are from CNN Two-Tier 2015 GOP primary debate
First Tier: Eleven candidates by polls
Second Tier: Four other Republicans
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