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Lindsey Graham's Political Views

Updated on August 16, 2015
Possible Candidate for President in 2010?
Possible Candidate for President in 2010?

Senator Graham on the Issues

Senior South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is one of the Republican Party's rising leaders and has been mentioned by some as a potential candidate to become the Republican Nominee for President in 2016. But what does Graham believe about U.S. foreign policy, the financial crisis, immigration policy, and health care reform? A past supporter of a comprehensive energy reform bill to address climate change, does Senator Graham still believe in global warming? This hub will attempt to take an unbiased look at Senator Graham's political views to determine where he stands on the important issues of the day.

Graham's Political Views

1. Immigration Reform: Senator graham supported the immigration reform bill co-sponsored by Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy in 2006 as well as the comprehensive immigration reform bill of 2007, both which were not passed by the Senate as a whole. Generally Graham is viewed as a moderate on immigration issues, often disagreeing with members of his own party on the need for reform, once stating, "We are going to solve this problem. We're not going to run people down. We're not going to scapegoat people. We're going to tell the bigots to shut up, and we're going to get this right." Graham has also expressed his concern about the 14th Amendment's granting of citizenship to anyone born in the United States, saying "Birthright Citizenship I think is a mistake."

2. Foreign Policy: Senator Graham has been a strong proponent of continuing the war in Afghanistan. An active member of the Air Force Reserve who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq as a JAG lawyer while on recess from Congress, Graham consistently voted to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq while those wars were ongoing. In recent years, Graham has been a vocal critic of President Obama's Foreign Policy in the Middle East, particularly as it relates to Iran, telling reporters "the Iranians don’t fear nor do they respect him [President Obama], and our allies in the region don’t trust the president."

3. Budget Deficits/Economic Growth: Graham supports making the tax cuts implemented under former President Bush permanent and generally is a fiscal conservative. Graham voted against the stimulus bill in 2008, telling reports that "this bill stinks...we're not being smart." In July 2010, Graham voted against extending jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, on the grounds that the money should have come by cutting other programs in the federal budget. Graham supported the re-appointment of Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, in March of 2010.

4. Climate Change/Energy Independence: In the past Senator Graham has spoken of the need for a comprehensive energy reform bill to pass climate change. In December, 2009, Graham co-sponsored a letter (along with Senators Joe Lieberman and John Kerry) to President Obama outlining a possible energy reform bill. However, in the spring of 2010 Graham has since dropped his support for the bill, stating that "the science about global warming has changed...I think they've oversold a lot of this stuff, quite frankly." Graham also opposes any restrictions on off-shore oil drilling.

5. Health Care Reform: Senator Graham voted against the health care reform bill passed by Congress and supported by President Obama in 2010. Graham called the bill a "multi-trillion dollar health care nightmare" and has expressed his desire to repeal it as soon as possible.

6. Social Issues: Senator Graham is very conservative on social issues, receiving a 100% rating from the pro-life organization NRLC and a 0% rating from the pro-choice organization NARAL. He voted for the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and yes on a potential constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.


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    • i scribble profile image

      i scribble 7 years ago

      This is a helpful summary. I guess Graham is not as bad as other SC GOP politicians (Joe "You lied!" Wilson, Jim 'Party of No' DeMint, Gov. Mark 'Don't cry for me Argentina' Sanford) in kinda the same way that 'clean coal' is not as bad as regular dirty coal.

    • profile image

      kkalmes 7 years ago

      Good hub... thanx, I once thought Senator Graham was going to be a standout Republican helping to open the door to non-partisan discussion and debate on important issues, but more recently see him as easily swayed in the political arena toward advancement in his party and his bid for the Presidency in 2012.

    • LRCBlogger profile image

      LRCBlogger 7 years ago

      Graham has shown himself to be someone who can work with Dems and be more rational than the typical conservatives. However, once his party put pressure on him, he dropped a lot of his more moderate views (like climate legislation support as you mentioned). It is important to know, by his own admission, Graham co-wrote the 'cap and trade' bill in the senate and said he spent "hundreds" of hours and maybe even "thousand" on it...Then suddenly he thinks the science is flawed?

      Whether you are for or against climate change legislation is irrelevant. What stands out to me is that he is easily pressured by his party and afraid to stand for what he believes in.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 7 years ago from America

      Didn't he vote in Kagan? I have ZERO faith in this man and believe him to be another good ole boy politician, I will do my part to see him leave office!

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