“Obama’s strategy against ISIL isn’t working,” Graham told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union. “We don’t have until the next election to deal with ISIL. There is a 9/11 coming, and it’s coming from Syria if we don’t disrupt their operations inside of Syria.”
“What you see in Paris is coming to America, and if I’m commander in chief, it will not happen, I promise you,” he added.
As Tapper noted, Graham and former Senator Rick Santorum are the only two Republican presidential candidates who advocate a ground war in Iraq and Syria.
When asked by Tapper whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump was better prepared to take on ISIS, Graham responded that he was better prepared than both of them.
Hillary Clinton seems to be disconnected from what you need to do. She won’t embrace boots on the ground. Mr. Trump’s position regarding Syria has always been delusional.
I’m not worried about them, I’m worried about me and my homeland. I have a plan. Please, for God’s sakes, wake up to the threats we face. Hit them before they hit us. Fight them in their backyard, not our backyard. Their people are ready to be led.
America must lead, and we must have boots on the ground as part of a regional army. We need 10,000 American forces in Iraq, not 3,500. if we don’t do these things soon, what you see in Paris is coming to America, and if I’m commander in chief, it will not happen, I promise you.
This rhetoric is nothing new for Graham, who has based his entire presidential campaign an aggressive military strategy. When he announced his candidacy in June, Graham said that Americans will be “killed here at home” unless Obama sends ground troops into Iraq and Syria to defeat the terrorist threat.
“I want to be president to defeat the enemies that are trying to kill us,” he said when he at the time. “Not just penalize or criticize them or contain them, but defeat them.”Graham’s poll numbers have remained low throughout his run for president. He was polling at under 1 percent in November, which disqualified him from even the undercard stage at the most recent Republican debate.