Graham: 'Iranians are trying to take advantage of our election cycle'
October 21st, 2012
02:31 PM ET
8 years ago

Graham: 'Iranians are trying to take advantage of our election cycle'

(CNN) - Iran is exploiting the U.S. political campaign to continue advancing its nuclear program, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham asserted Sunday.

"I think the Iranians are trying to take advantage of our election cycle to continue to talk," Graham said on "Fox News Sunday." "As we talk with the Iranians, whether it's bilaterally or unilaterally, they continue to enrich (uranium)."

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

Graham's comments came as The New York Times reported the U.S. and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks about Iran's nuclear program, although, according to the paper, Iranian officials insisted the talks wait until after the U.S. presidential election. In a statement, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor denied the U.S. and Iran have agreed to bilateral talks "or any meeting after the American elections."

Graham said "the time for talking is over" and blasted the Obama administration's policy of pursuing sanctions against Iran.

"The purpose of sanctions is to stop the Iranians from building a nuclear program. ... It's been a miserable failure," he said. "There is a pattern here: We talk, they enrich. It needs to stop. We need to have red lines coordinated with Israel and end this before it gets out of hand."

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, also on Fox, defended the Obama administration. "The sanctions regime that President Obama put together with Israel and many other countries around the world is putting pressure on Iran to sit down and finally acknowledge that they cannot have a nuclear weapon."

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio echoed Graham's assertion that Iran is using the idea of negotiations as a way to "buy time to further their nuclear program." Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation," Rubio declined to comment directly on the New York Times story. But he did say, "I think Governor Romney would agree with this: Force is the last option. It's the least desirable one. It has to be on the table, and the candidates agree on that."

Filed under: 2012 • Iran • Lindsey Graham
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Willie Floyd

    And I'm sure both you and Romney can hardly wait to get into a war with them!! I wonder if Romney would let the American citizens see the caskets of more dead soldiers arriving back home???

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    October 21, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. Facts don't Lie

    Republicans just HAVE to be thankful for FoxNews because they don't seem to be able to say their crazy things anywhere else.

    October 21, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. Are you kidding me?

    Gee I wonder why. All you have to do is look at the GOP and see what they have done over the past 4 years. Anyone who is not blind can see they encouraged anti-Obamaness throughout congress and the senate. If they worked with the president in good faith things would be much better all around.

    October 21, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    And you teapublikkklans have been trying to bring the country down since 2009.. I don't see the difference, do you senator?

    October 21, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Lindsey Graham like the rest of the Republicans knew this during the Bush administration but said nothing, Iran didn't just start being a bad actor during the Obama administration. Iran has no interest in finding out how very dangerous the U.S. or Israel is by using nuclear weapons, in fact Saddam Hussain wasn't either.

    October 21, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. NameGary

    How is the war with Iran to be funded?

    October 21, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Howard

    IT'S OBAMA, WHO IS TRYING TO DO ANOTHER LAST MINUTE POLITICAL PIVOT, BEFORE THE FOREIGN POLICY DEBATE. Obama will say, or do ANYTHING, in his desperate attempt to hold onto power !!!

    October 21, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. drdave

    Sounds Like Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham Likes To Start Another War.He Needs TO Sleep In Bed With Bush.

    October 21, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. anonoymous

    Marco Rubio he's not going to pick you. Dont risk your political future lying for Romney. I saw you on meet the press and thought how sad. All that blinking and lying almost as bad as Ryan drinking all that water. Watch at mid term if the people dont agree with me..

    October 21, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Ricardo martinez

    There we go again!! Republican senator injecting poiso. This is all that this party can do to call the atention. I am starting to feel that this party is definitly the sore of this country. That is why we elect these guy in charge. When this people will bring a good new like. Weare thinking about this bill to create jobs, we are thinking about this bill to fix education, ssocial security and medicaid. Any person voting for this guy should feel embarrased!!

    October 21, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Jpx

    I watched that interview and as usual The biased Chris Wallace allowed Graham to spout such nonsense. The reality is that speaking with Iran would be bad for Republicans who are trying to portray Obama as being bad with foreign affairs.

    October 21, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Just a thought

    OK...Let me repeat with emphasis, the GOP/Tea Thug-ocracy is a miserable failure. This party and its vapid, delusional supporters need to sit down and close the stink hole from which all their ideas eminate...either end, it still stinks and this country can't stand anymore cowboy diplomacy.

    Don't these idiots recall that Bin Laden said he knew he couldn't defeat us by military action (even if he had a million suicide bombers) but the idea is to force us to destroy ourselves financially trying to find terrorist in the middle of no where and thereby the US goes broke. Remember Iraq idiots???? The GOP/Tea party is going to destroy this country with stupidity

    October 21, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. don in albuquerque

    Bin Ladin won the war. Just let shrub keep bleeding dollars, and the GOP applauded. Of course it sunk our economy but that was the only way Bin Ladin knew to win this war. And now we stand poised to do it again, except this could be the whole world against us and we are not wearing a white hat. Enjoy, enjoy, kiddies and Blame Yourself.

    October 21, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Steve

    Whoever votes Obama hates America.

    October 21, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Milton K. Wiah

    5000 Americans died in the war started by the republican party. Romney's supporters, senators are talking about
    war with Iran. Romney's presidency is definitely war with Iran. Prime Minister of Israel is Romney best friend and
    he wants to start a war with Iran. So American mothers should embrace for more death under Romney's
    presidency if he elected.

    October 21, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. Canuck

    It's hard to avoid the election cycle in America – it seems to comprise half a President's term.

    October 21, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Canuck

    " and finally acknowledge that they cannot have a nuclear weapon."

    Americans are not the arbiters of who can and cannot have a nuclear weapon , as much as they like to think they are.

    October 21, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. Thinker23

    It is really sad but Iran IS developing nuclear weapons. If someone believes that this is not the case he/she should not have troubles to explain HOW will Iran possibly use hundreds of those nuclear capable intermediate- and long range ballistic missiles it acquired during the last several years. These missiles cost at least $3 million each and are virtually harmless without proper warheads. Further, I'd like to reveal that one side can start and maintain a war but BOTH sides are necessary to maintain peace. This means that if Iranian leaders will decide to start a war there will be a war and neither of today's presidential candidates will be able to cancel it. Still further, I'd like to remind us all that wars are EXTREMELY costly... even if someone else started them. This means that in case Iran will start a war Israel, the US and other countries will have to pay a lot do you like it or not.

    October 21, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. Thomas

    "I think the Iranians are trying to take advantage of our election cycle to continue to talk," Graham said on "Fox News Sunday.

    Fox News ?

    What went wrong with America ?
    To think that Americans would consider electing a President who 's 5 sons all avoided military service in times of war , wars they support .

    Welcome to Rome .

    October 21, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. suspicious in Florida

    I lived in SC for 21 years before moving 5 years ago. Just look at the miserable job those people have done in electing politicians. Remember Mark Sanford? Now there's Nicky Haley. Both are jokes, along with Lindsay Graham and Jim DeMint. They've all done so very little for their constituents and the voters aren't not smart enough to figure it out. The state motto must surely be "keep 'em ignorant".

    October 21, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  21. Squigman

    If they don't take advantage. your party will. They'll lie, cheat, mislead, politicize the most mundane item and basically do all possible to gain political advantage. The republican party, is no different than any other terrorist organization. And they've got The Faux News organization as they're propaganda outlet.

    October 21, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that Iranians have done much to protect those nuclear facilities so that many direct military strikes will prove not nearly as effective as against other targets. We need more cover activites that "discover" leaks in many Iranian facilities showing that the Iranians can't be trusted to do their own nuclear work.

    October 21, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  23. g

    romney and ryan would care less how many americans died in iran,as long as the profits rolled in,and there owners were happy.they know nothing or feel nothing about middle class america no mater what income bracket your in

    October 21, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |