August 4th, 2013
10:05 AM ET
1 year ago

Graham praises Obama administration; trip to Egypt still on

(CNN) – One of President Barack Obama’s most vocal critics in the Senate said Sunday that he approves of how the administration is handling the recent terror threats.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, also said he plans to continue his trip to Egypt with fellow Republican Sen. John McCain, despite a United States global travel alert amid fears that al Qaeda may launch attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond in coming weeks

“I appreciate what the administration is doing. They're taking the right approach to this,” Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

In an unprecedented move, the U.S. announced it would close 22 embassies and consulates Sunday, including in Yemen, which was a focus of concern.

Graham, who’s on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said this was the appropriate action, compared with actions before last year’s terror attack against a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

“The threats were real there. The reporting was real. And we basically dropped the ball,” he said. “We've learned from Benghazi, thank God, and the administration is doing this right.”

The senator said the attack in Benghazi, which left four Americans dead, further fueled momentum for those wanting to terrorize the U.S. And he remains highly critical of the administration’s handling of the aftermath of the attack.

“A year has passed, and no one's paid a price. After Benghazi, these al Qaeda types are really on steroids, thinking we're weaker and they're stronger,” he told Candy Crowley, CNN’s chief political correspondent.

Their goal, he said, is ultimately to get Western interests out of the Mideast.

“This is an effort to terrorize us, to drive us out of the Mideast. And if we ever take the bait and try to come home and create fortress America, you’ll have another 9/11,” he said.

Graham said he would be leaving for Egypt “very soon,” where he and McCain will urge military leaders to begin the democratic process of turning over control to civilians and hold elections.

Asked if the senators plan to have extra security as they travel, Graham said “I hope we are.”

“If you’re going to pick between the two of us, Sen. McCain is far more valuable than I am,” he joked.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Daze Bell

    Here is another idea for the people out there that believe its OK for President Obama to continue to expand the powers of the President and the Executive Branch into previously unheard of levels; for the people that don't see a problem with the NSA spying on every person in America and using the IRS as a political weapon. You may believe it isn't a problem because Mr. Obama has nothing but good in his heart and is only trying to protect the American Public. Consider this:

    One day there will be a President elected who represents everything you hate. Picture all of this new power of the Executive Branch started by Bush and continued by Obama in that new president's hands. Do you think all this power goes away when the current President leaves office?

    WAKE UP! We are one big terrorist strike away from living in Orwell's '1984'.

    August 4, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. ronjayaz

    No, it's not. When this President has Graham and McCain on his side, he MUST BE doing something wrong. This is the other side of the name-calling coin. These guys R absolute hawks & anything that "re-deploys" us in the ME is good for them.

    August 4, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Military Vet

    Nearlyfell out of my chair! GOP priase for the President who pulled us back from the economic brink, re-established our standing in the world, cut taxes, brought healthcare to millions of Americans, and fought the worst Congress in history! Finally, he gets a "job well done!" GOP should have said that four years ago. Now GOP, pass the policies that we voted for in for last election when we re-elected the Presiident. Lets put our country back to work and end the obstruction in Congress.

    August 4, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. Jaimie

    His nose is so brown

    August 4, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Keith

    Just keep em closed indefinitely. Do a "sneak" opening and closing at random and see if the terrorists can figure it out.

    August 4, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. bernie

    and WHO IS PAYING FOR THIS TRIP for these two idiots that are still planning their trip? higher security? I think if ANY politician wants to go to another country for whatever reason (unless authorized by the President) they should go on their own time and money and foot the whole bill

    August 4, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. jpmichigan

    Now that Obama has been re-elected, he takes seriously that Al-Queda is stronger. The problem with his inaction while candidate Obama for a second term caused the death of 4 Americans. Eventually the truth of the Obama administration lack of leadership and governing will come out later than soon, but it will still be a flaw on his Presidenc

    August 4, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. tullymd

    Well Al Qaeda got us the "leave the Mid East" for one day. All this publicity serve what agenda?

    August 4, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. The Vocal Atheist

    Praise from a guy who easily shrugs off the death of innocents. "We've killed 4,700," Graham told the Easley Rotary Club in South Carolina on Tuesday afternoon. "Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we're at war, and we've taken out some very senior members of al Qaeda.”
    -Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

    August 4, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. david shoup

    i don't think we get. Islam is understood only by Islamist believers. they must be left alone to practice their beliefs and work out their differences. If democracy and independence as we see it is not their way...so be it...we step aside

    August 4, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. nytw

    RINO Graham needs to resign he is no longer representing the interest of REAL CONSERVATIVES.

    August 4, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Bolaji99

    Gary, well said – "a snake is a snake is a snake." The damn thing WILL bite you. How poisonous it is, you'll find out.

    August 4, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. The Vocal Atheist

    If the administration is being praised by a guy who easily shrugs off the death of innocents, then they must be doing something wrong.

    "We've killed 4,700," Graham told the Easley Rotary Club in South Carolina on Tuesday afternoon. "Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we're at war, and we've taken out some very senior members of al Qaeda.”
    -Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

    August 4, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. g

    so the military industral complex sent their boys to egypt. close the door in the middle east ,they hate you

    August 4, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. If I had a hammer... I'd whack you in the morning

    Go soak your head Lindsey, until it floats.

    August 4, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. liberal disease

    I can't see one thing that Obama has done in 5 years that deserves praise...

    August 4, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Psst. Libertarians. Rand Paul is never going to be anything but a wash out for your, er, cause. He along with so many other Tea Party fanatics aren't what real America needs or wants.
    It is good to see the Grand Old Party finally fighting back against the backlash of Tea Party members who never should have been voted in but were.
    It is time to start voting the Tea Party out so America can finally start working together - not against one another.

    August 4, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Ramon F Herrera

    “We've learned from Benghazi, thank God, and the administration is doing this right.”

    On a related note:

    • Most Admired Man in America: Barack Obama

    • Most Admired Woman in America: Hillary Rodham Clinton

    (both, for several years in a row)

    Meanwhile, the Republicans' capacity to hold hatred (which fries neurons) continues unimpeded.

    August 4, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. stephen

    Obama takes alot of heat. Being president is a tough job, and he cant do everything. I voted for the guy and ill vote for him again.

    August 4, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Fred Flintstone

    He must have bumped his head?

    August 4, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. sr76

    Yeah, it would be a real shame to have another covert CIA op exposed.

    August 4, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Gurgyl

    Do you believe GOP thugs praise. There is a latent hidden clandestine desire in it. Watch out.

    August 4, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Ed

    A short bit of praise. Then a rant against him. Just another moment of coverage for Graham.

    August 4, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. Tampa Tim

    Liberal disease – you meant to say, "I have not seen anything republicans have done in the last 30 years that is worthy of praise."

    August 4, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    I guess not allot the GOP is brain dead, just most of them!!!!!

    August 4, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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