Graham: 'Where the hell is the commander in chief?'
October 2nd, 2013
12:37 PM ET
11 months ago

Graham: 'Where the hell is the commander in chief?'

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Lindsey Graham grew furious Wednesday after Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate committee the government shutdown "seriously damages" national security.

The South Carolina Republican blasted his fellow members of Congress for failing to reach a deal to end the shutdown, but he took particular aim at President Barack Obama.

"I think it's irresponsible for all of us to let it continue," he said. "But where the hell is the commander in chief?"

Clapper told the Senate Judiciary Committee that 70% of the intelligence community is being furloughed as a result of the shutdown, interfering with the government's ability to support the military, diplomats and policy makers.

Clapper said the law requires them to define "essential" employees as those who are "necessary to protect against imminent threat, imminent threat to life or property."

"The danger here, of course, is that this will accumulate over time. The damage will be insidious. So each day that goes by, the jeopardy increases," he continued.

Clapper said he shared the same information with the president.

If that's the case, Graham continued, then "why aren't the members of the House and the Senate in the White House right now to try to solve this problem?"

Just minutes before Graham asked the question, the White House announced the president had invited congressional leaders for a meeting late Wednesday afternoon.

The senator went on to argue there was a "huge difference" between shutdowns before and after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"And for the president of the United States, for our House Democrats to not negotiate is irresponsible. For our Republican Party, not to try to find a way to end this mess is irresponsible," he said.

– CNN's Josh Levs contributed to this report.


Filed under: Government Shutdown • Lindsey Graham • Senate
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. Johnyheat

    Hey our government representatives get acting "Responsibly" stop acting like like a Spoiled Brat, you are there to do a job.
    The country is HURTING and we are not getting any help from you, you may think you are but the reality is you are NOT.
    A Democratic Society is the will of the people and the people are the majority of the country, not your small circle… In a TEAM there is no I or me or us, a TEAM is a working body for making a successful outcome not a mob brawl.
    Luck those representatives are not firemen/policemen/surgeons/air traffic controllers or military personnel, they have to get things done or there could be death to REAL people not agenda.
    You, Representatives, have a job to do and as the people mentioned above.
    If any of those Honorable professionals above took their time to make a correction to the needs that you would want done immediately and if puts anyone of family members in peril you would DEMAND conclusions to correct like YESTERDAY.
    Is your house safe...is your next flight same...is your surgeon awake...is the military protecting you 24/7 THEN you should do the same WORK 24/7, the country is in an Emergency and looking for professional help, not a cage of monkeys. Monkeys are interesting to look at and in the wild they work together for the betterment of the troop.
    Another BAD thing is because of your “Walk in a Park”, hopefully it is not a Federal Park, approach many people are either not being paid or having to work for Maybe getting paid LATER, YOU should be treated the same, WAITE TO BE PAID till you do your job and that does not mean making Obscene Hand Jesters like something is being done or Bad Mouthing each other!!! Try to do this in a REAL job…you would be looking from the Blacktop for your next job.
    Funny a group of monkeys are known as a Troop and Representatives are becoming to be known as Jokers without an effective punch line…so BOO on you and throw the BUMS out.

    October 2, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Mikey

    @Rudy – it's only 42 times. 42 times without offering a viable alternative or any reasonable improvements. 42 times costing taxpayers $60 million. But what do they care? Heck, they just forced a shutdown of the government by sending something they knew full well was a non-starter to the Senate. They did it on purpose, because if it was accidental, they are monumentally stupid... okay, perhaps it was an accident. Seriously, this showshow little regard they have for the welfare of the American people. It's only about narrow ideology and the best interest of the wealthy and big business, period!

    October 2, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. ED1

    Must be playing golf or at a fund raiser where else.

    October 2, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. freedom

    @Tom Paine

    Good business does not work this way. Obama caters to whoever got him elected, and only cares about his own agenda to fundamentally transform America – he is corrupt to the core. John Roberts DID sell his soul – and this country – for his own egotistical legacy. And this law is not kosher by any means – you really are misinformed.

    October 2, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. McShannon

    We could stop subsidizing the arms dealers in America by taking out provisions that most of money in our aid packages must be used to support e.g. one of Boehner's favorite lobbyist Lockheed Martin. Why would we give money to them and take away domestic programs. Billions upon Billions of dollars to American arms manufacturers through aid packages. Boehner's family bar business mostly patronized by Lockheed Martin employees and well, obviously they have jobs. What Boehner and cohorts are attempting is extortion and there are laws against that.

    If we are going to give these companies free money why not use it to develop interspace travel. There are already too many weapons in the world.

    October 2, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    -freedom

    @Tom Paine

    Good business does not work this way. Obama caters to whoever got him elected, and only cares about his own agenda to fundamentally transform America – he is corrupt to the core. John Roberts DID sell his soul – and this country – for his own egotistical legacy. And this law is not kosher by any means – you really are misinformed.
    *********
    Tell the Chief Justice its not kosher. What you call egotistical legacy is following the law, and the Chief Justice has a better eye for that than either you or I. Government is NOT business, no matter how the GOP tries to make it so: the dynamic is simply too different. As far as trasforming America is concerned, the GOP has affected the biggest shift in our history by freezing the middle class in its tracks for over a genreation, sending jobs overseas and being content with us becoming a service economy instead of being a manufacturer. If you want to point the finger of blame, start a little self examination.

    October 2, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. iliab

    Sure CIC. Just bring some troops in and clear this house of clowns.

    October 2, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. tom l

    @DMFO
    "Lol. You got me! I didn't know you were an internet geek
    -----------------
    So you just admitted that you throw your lies out there in the hopes that there's no resident expert on this thread to catch you at it and dispute them.
    You're not only an instigator tom l you're also stupid to boot.
    BTW you'd think that DATA's moniker would've given you a hint to go fish in another pond"

    Wow. I hope you're having a lovely day, as well. I didn't admit that I was a liar. I admitted that he had greater knowledge of the internets than me. It doesn't mean that I don't know what I'm talking about. It means that I have an actual characteristic that you don't. The ability to admit that someone knows more than me. Wow. So please do tell me one of my "lies". I try to be as truthful as possible, but like everyone on here, sometimes I make an error. This is not one of those cases where I made any error, I just acknowledged that Data Driven knows more than me about this. Why did you choose to omit the rest of my response? I wish you would have read my earlier post. And, by the way, your response is beyond childish and exactly what Lynda said I was doing. I'm sorry I don't fit your echo chamber and have a different opinion than yours. Please read my post from page 5. Perhaps you will just calm down a bit. Do you hear how angry you are towards me? Sheeeesh.

    October 2, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. freedom

    @Tom Paine

    Chief Justice John Roberts is not infallible – just as Obama isn't – although he has unbelievably manipulated many Americans to believe so. They are just men. And they are making huge mistakes – that Americans will suffer from for generations to come. The GOP has made plenty of mistakes too, that we are also fighting to undo. But this is the mother of all misdeeds – and is the problem at hand.

    October 2, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ tom l
    Why is it that when you're called out on your lies you call it anger but when you do the calling it is "righteous indignation".
    No tom l. You don't inspire anger in me.
    Someone like yourself who continually insinuates himself into a conversation, insisting on being noticed AND responded to (see your posts to Sniffit. My goodness man, you were practically grovelling for a response), someone like you does not inspire anger, you inspire pity.

    October 2, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Mikey

    @tom I – "I didn't admit that I was a liar."
    ***********************************************
    LOL. No, you didn't admit it. After reading what followed that remark, perhaps you should find solice in the fact that Obamacare covers mental health care.

    October 2, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Having a great day tom l.
    Thanks for caring dear.

    October 2, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Marcus (from...?)

    freedom – 'Chief Justice John Roberts is not infallible – just as Obama isn't – although he has unbelievably manipulated many Americans to believe so. They are just men. And they are making huge mistakes – that Americans will suffer from for generations to come. The GOP has made plenty of mistakes too, that we are also fighting to undo. But this is the mother of all misdeeds – and is the problem at hand.'

    Trying to sound reasonable? Try adding numbers, like those CBO reports (that the GOP have been trying hard to disprove / discredit but without showing exactly how they are – oh SO!!! – wrong) that says, with numbers to prove it, that it's quite the opposite.
    Seriously, the 'train-wreck' line of justification got old after these what, three years of baselessly trying to keep it up?
    Numbers, not cherrypicked ones nor out-of-their-context ones and certainly nor fabricated ones, that explain exactly HOW the 'Obama-care(s) (a lot!)' is going to hamper/destroy/annihilate the American economy...
    Three to four years have passed and I am still waiting for them...
    Numbers, that is.

    October 2, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Mikey

    @tom I – "I didn't admit that I was a liar."
    ***********************************************
    LOL. No, you didn't admit it. After reading what followed that remark, perhaps you should find solice in the fact that Obamacare covers mental health care
    -------------------------------------------------
    Yeah, kinda took over the stage with that one didn't he MIkey?
    The phrase "he doth protest too much" came immediately to mind.....along a silent call for a medic!
    LOL!!

    October 2, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Data Driven

    Hey Tom, gotta be cool, man. I admit you're more knowledgeable about marketing than me. We all got our specialties. We are all special. Take five, have a Chopra moment, be nice to DM40, have a Michelob tonight. Gotta feel the vibes of the Universal Mind.

    ( 2.8's still a lot of traffic, tho)

    October 2, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. tom l

    @DMFO,
    I love how you feel that I "insert" myself into the conversation as if only those on the left are allowed to make comments. And as far as Sniffit the Corporatist is concerned, I find it highly ironic how often he "inserts" himself into the conversation and responds to me and then tells me that I have a mancrush on him. But since you lack any perspective, it's hard for you to notice that. He constantly constantly responds to me, which I enjoy because I actually am interested in finding out why the other side feels the way they do, when I haven't even mentioned his name. But why would you notice that? That would take being open minded to another viewpoint, which you clearly are not. You on the left just love your echo chamber. It validates you . It makes you feel that others are like you so you're ok. It's sad that you don't have the confidence in yourself to think for yourself but have to be part of what you view as the "cool kids" who act like bullies and tell you that you're not welcome here just because you have a different opinion. I think you would learn a lot from actually listening to the other side and understanding why they feel the way they do. But that's probably too difficult for you because you feel validated by the likes of rs, Wake Up (who said he hates this country, by the way), Rudy, Sniffit and Lynda. You guys have gotten worse and worse by the day. Less tolerant to another viewpoint. Open your mind, woman! And please also point out one of my "lies". I'm open to listen to waht you have to say.

    It's odd that I can have pleasant exchanges with The Real TP and Data Driven. They are the only ones that have any cilvility here. You are just a big bully and when someone has a different opinion, you resort to schoolyard tactics and get all of your buddies to gang up. The point of this board should be to listen to other opinions but clearly you have no desire to do that.

    Do you know how many times an unbiased independent person has come on these threads and pointed out how nasty Sniffit the Corporatist and his gang is? I would say on no less than 4 occassions, and possibly more, an independent voice will come in after one of our exchanges and say how bitter and nasty he is and how I am not that way.

    October 2, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. freedom

    @Marcus

    "We won't know what's in it until we pass it" – remember Pelosi's famous irresponsible arrogant words??? You won't get numbers until the train wreck happens. And it will. That's what we're trying to prevent.

    October 2, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Mike from CO

    "But where the hell is the commander in chief?"

    Waiting for the Republicans in the House to stop tilting at windmills and pass a clean budget CR.

    October 2, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. tom l

    @Data,
    I am kind. I am almost always kind to her and show her great respect. There are times where I might make a snide remark but that's because I am human. I have always said she is educated but way way too partisan. She has never once showed me any respect. It's kind of a bummer. I wish she would actually listen to me. I think that I have some valid points and as a libertarian there are several issues that we agree on.

    And today, she steals my "me doth think thy protest too much" line! I know, I know, Shakespeare wrote it but I love using that one on Sniffit.

    Oh, and it's vodka soda and then a snapper for me (I hope you get that) :)

    October 2, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. tom l

    @ Data,

    And 2.8 isn't bad, but it's nothing spectacular either. :)

    October 2, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    Is Tom l once again calling out my name? Sorry, Tom. Not today ... I've got the headache.

    October 2, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "I'm open to listen to waht you have to say."

    No you're not. Multiple posts factually debunk your talking points on a regular basis and yet you go right on regurgitating them over and over and over again. You don't listen. You filter.

    October 2, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    The imbeciles at faux news want their sheep to think it's all about shutting down the Statue of Liberty, some museums close, the sky is not falling (unless you have no income or those tourists are not coming so even a hot dog vendor suffers) your pain won't be felt immediately but not to worry the sun came out this morning and, I guess, you can sit on your deck before the bank takes your house from you because you have no $$$$$ to pay your rent or mortgage.
    These people are too horrible to imagine that they could all be in one TV station telling lie after lie.

    October 2, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. tom l

    @DMFO,
    ""I'm open to listen to waht you have to say."

    No you're not. Multiple posts factually debunk your talking points on a regular basis and yet you go right on regurgitating them over and over and over again. You don't listen. You filter.

    Here you go.

    As far as you're concerned, big guy, you do not "factually debunk my talking points" (as if yours aren't talking points), you just think you do. I listen to what you have to say all the time. For instance, you think the govt is here for the good of us. I don't. It's hard for you to understand that. So everything you say, especially when it comes from the govt, I take with a grain of salt and I actually don't believe it. You belive Pelosi when she says something asinine like unemployment checks are good for the economy. I know for a fact that it is not good. But you have a different feeling about how the economy works and don't really believe in capitalism. You believe in an economy where the wealth is more spread out through govt moves. It's ok, I don't think you're a bad person. I just believe that the economy works way better with less govt (and I didn't say NO govt, I said LESS govt) whereas you believe the economy cannot function without a big intrusive govt.

    Oh, and you use talking points all of the time. Every. Day.

    October 2, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Marcus (from...?)

    You quoted a phrase that LOST its meaning three years ago, all those CBO reports I mentioned were made:
    – either while the then bill was being passed (in both chambers) and day by day by day the GOP came with the 'train-wreck' excuse (even after the CBO was called into action and debunked it).
    – or after the bill was signed into law, challenged and upheld by the SCOTUS – explanation, although only one key point of the AHCA was being challenged, the 'train-wreck' excuse (that had nothing to do with the point challenged) was used again ad nauseam.
    The CBO had access, time and people to check the bill, and they did it, over and over again.
    I know that, at some point while it still was a bill, a CBO report showed a flaw in its conception that was indeed going to cost lots of money more than expected, but what the POTUS and the Dems did then?
    They fixed the flaw and made the CBO check the corrected version of the bill, which was the one that was signed into law and challenged and etc..., and the CBO said that it was (after the fix) going to work as intended (save money and provide health care).

    October 2, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
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