Lindsey Graham in CNN/Salem GOP Debate


On Homeland Security: American Muslims are the solution, not the problem

There are at least 3,500 American Muslims serving in the armed forces. You are not the enemy. Your religion is not the enemy. I was at the second presidential election in Afghanistan. The guy guarding me was an American Muslim sergeant in the Army who grew up in Kabul, left when he graduated high school, joined the U.S. Army. He is not the problem. Leave the faith alone. Go after the radicals that kill us all.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On Immigration: Change comprehensive reform plan to account for terrorism

Q: In 2013 you were part of the leadership that pushed through comprehensive immigration reform. Many accused you of amnesty, and may have undermined your ability to get your message out on the war. Would you sponsor that bill again today?

GRAHAM: Well, the first thing I would do is make adjustments to reality [of ISIS and terrorism]. I would make changes to that bill in light of what I know today.

SANTORUM: Lindsey says this is a real war, until it comes to immigration. And, then, all of a sudden it's not such a real war.

Q: What would you do?

SANTORUM: We've created a magnet. We're attracting people. We have a policy that says amnesty. The world hears this, and knows that if they can come across this border, by and large, they're going to be able to stay. That has to change.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On Technology: You're isolationist if you don't monitor calls from abroad

Senator Paul and Senator Cruz, are isolationists. They both want to restrict the ability of the NSA to do the following; find out if somebody overseas is calling into America and if somebody is on the other end of the phone, don't you want to know who their talking to? If a terrorist is calling into America and we can match up phone numbers, we get a get a court order to find out what the content is.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On War & Peace: If Syrian war goes on another year, Jordan's king might fall

Q [to Carson]: You recently visited a Syrian refugee camp. Do you think these camps are a long-term solution?

Dr. Ben CARSON: I asked the Syrians themselves: What do you want? Their supreme desire was to be settled back in their own country. I said, "What can America do?" They said, "Support the efforts of those who are trying to provide safety for us, including the Jordanians." They had a brand new hospital, for instance, that was unstaffed because there wasn't enough money to do it. But if you go into Hasakah province, that's an area that's as big as Lebanon. It's controlled by the Kurds, the Christians and the moderate Sunnis. You could settle a lot of people there.

GRAHAM: I've been to the refugee camps in Turkey, and Jordan. We've got to stop this war. Do you realize that there are more Syrian refugees in Lebanon going to school than Lebanese children? Do you realize if this war goes for another year the King of Jordan could fall? Let's have a no-fly zone.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican debate on Syrian Refugees Dec 15, 2015

On War & Peace: There's nobody left in Syria to train; bring in other Arabs

Sen. Rick SANTORUM: ISIS is a caliphate. Under Islamic law, good Muslims who see them as a legitimate caliphate are required to follow them. How do we defeat their caliphate? Well, it's very clear in Islamic law how you do so. You take their land--in the Islamic world that delegitimizes the caliphate. We need to use Sunni, not Shiite Iraqis, but Sunni Muslims in Iraq and the Kurds, the Peshmerga, and take back Iraqi land.

GRAHAM: You're not going to win that way, Rick. There's nobody left in Syria to train. Between the Russians and Assad, they have killed all the people we trained. I would get the Arabs who are threatened by ISIL just as much as we are, along with Turkey. We would use their armies. They have modern armies. 90% them, 10% us, and we go in and destroy the caliphate.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On War & Peace: Form army--90% them, 10% us--to destroy Caliphate

Q: How would you fight ISIL?

GRAHAM: I would get the Arabs who are threatened by ISIL just as much as we are, along with Turkey. We would use their armies. They have modern armies. 90% them--but some of us have to go, folks. You're not going to keep the war from here if some of us don't go over there. 90% them, 10% us, and we go in and destroy the caliphate. There must be American boots on the ground in Syria to win. If you don't understand that, you're not ready to be Commander in Chief.

Q: You called for U.S. ground troops in both Iraq and Syria...

GRAHAM: Two years ago. If we had 10,000 troops left in Iraq, there would be no ISIL and I hate what Obama did. He gave away everything we fought for.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On War & Peace: 10,000 US troops in Iraq; 10,000 in Syria; plus 90,000 Arabs

Q: I just want to remind our viewers, you want 10,000 U.S. ground troops in Iraq, and 10,000 in Syria?

GRAHAM: Yeah. I just don't make this up; I talk to people who are combat trained who have won in Iraq who I trust. Here's what I want to tell the Arab world and Turkey. We're not going to send 100,000 troops. You're going to do the fighting this time and we're gonna help you. We paid for the last two wars, you're gonna pay for this one. They get it because ISIL wants to cut their heads off, too. [The Turks and Arabs] have modern armies: 90% them, 10% us, and we go in and destroy the caliphate. The point I'm trying to make is, there needs to be a ground component. We need to be smart, and we need to fight the war over there. And to the people in my party who believe you can withdraw from the battlefield like Senator Cruz and Paul and we be safe, you really don't understand this war.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On War & Peace: Don't collaborate with Russia & Iran to keep Assad in power

GRAHAM [to Cruz]: I would partner with the Arabs and Turkey [to fight ISIS in Syria]. But, the reason they don't partner with Obama is they just don't trust him. To my good friend Ted Cruz, please ask him the following question, you say you would keep Assad in power, I will tell you that is the worst possible thing that could come out of an American leaders mouth. It would be disastrous. Ted, getting in bed with Iran & Russia to save Assad is inconceivable.

Sen. CRUZ: We need to learn from history. Obama, Clinton, and far too many Republicans--want to topple Assad. Assad is a bad man. But if we topple Assad, the result will be that ISIS will take over Syria. And I'll tell you whose view on Assad is the same as mine. It's Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Netanyahu doesn't want to see Syria governed by ISIS. And we need to focus on American interests, not on global aspirations...

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On War & Peace: To destroy ISIL in Libya, take the Caliphate's headquarters

Q: Are you ready to commit U.S. ground troops to Libya?

GRAHAM: I want to talk to General Keane first. I want to find out, what do we need militarily to keep them contained and eventually destroy them in Libya? They're in nine countries. You want to deal with Libya, go to Iraq and Syria. You want to prevent another 9/11, take the caliphate headquarters away from ISIL. There is no other way to do it without a ground force going into Syria.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On War & Peace: Declaring war on Islam only helps ISIL

Sen. Rick SANTORUM [to Graham]: This is an important time in our country's history. We have entered World War III. World War III has begun and we have a leader who refuses to identify it and be truthful to the American people to the stakes that are involved, in part, because his policies have led us here. His policies in the Middle East with Iraq create ISIS.

GRAHAM: This is a religious war between radical Islam and the rest of the world. And there's only one way you're going to win. Help people in Islam who reject radical Islam to fight over there and destroy this ideology. Donald Trump has done the one single thing you cannot do. Declare war on Islam itself. ISIL would be dancing in the streets. Declaring war on the religion only helps ISIL.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On War & Peace: Winning in Iraq is more important than safety

I just returned from Iraq. It was my 36th trip to Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade. Toward the end, I met a very impressive Special Forces sergeant. As I departed, I told this young man, "Stay safe." He replied, "Sir, I will do my best to stay safe, but I came here to win." As commander-in-chief, I will do everything in my power to make sure that he can win. As president, we will win.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

On War & Peace: We are at war and it's a religious war

We're at war. There's four things to understand about this war, it's a religious war, them against the world, if you don't fight them over there, they're coming here. If you don't hit them first, they're going to hit us. If you're not determined to fight it as a war, you're going to lose. So if you're worried about somebody having your phone, don't be. The only thing you need to worry about is if you're talking to terrorist and a judge gives an order to listen to what you're saying.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate Dec 15, 2015

The above quotations are from CNN/Salem Republican Debate
at The Venetian in Las Vegas
Moderated by Wolf Blitzer.
Click here for main summary page.
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Page last updated: Sep 05, 2016