Lindsey Graham

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Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)  is a former Air Force military prosecutor and a retired colonel in the Air Force Reserves. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 where remained until 2003, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Graham is part of the Senate’s Republican leadership, and is close friends with former Presidential nominee John McCain (R-AZ), having co-chaired his 2008 campaign. The Senator currently serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget. He has previously served on the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. He announced his campaign for president in June 2015 in his hometown of Central, South Carolina.

On the Issues

AAI tracks statements, non-statements, and the track records of each presidential candidate on the issues we care about most. Click on an issue to read what Lindsey Graham has said on the campaign trail.


Foreign Policy     

Domestic Policy


U.S. Role in the Middle East 

Voting Rights 


U.S. Response to ISIL

Civil Rights + Civil Liberties








Community Policing




Bigoted Speech


Iran Negotiations 

Immigration Reform

Key Advisors

  • Christian Ferry: Campaign Manager. Ferry was the Deputy Campaign Manager for Senator McCain’s (R-AZ) general election campaign in 2008. He also served on Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign and the 1996 Republican National Convention. He is the former Deputy Director for political affairs at the Union Pacific Corporation.
  • Bob Heckman: Senior Advisor. Heckman is a veteran political consultant with seven presidential campaigns under his belt, notably as senior advisor on Bachmann for President, Director of Conservative Outreach on McCain-Palin, and Deputy Director for national coalitions on the Bush-Quayle campaign in 1992. 


The U.S. Role in the Middle East

"The key to winning this war is to provide the capacity to those in the faith who reject the ideology.  The key to fighting this war is to fight it in their backyard, not ours… What would I do in Syria?  I'd form a regional army of Arabs and Turkey.  Ninety percent them, 10 percent us.  Up to 10,000 U.S. forces to go in on the ground and destroy the caliphate and its roots.  Take Raqqah away from ISIL, kill every one of these bastards we could find.  Then I would stay.  I would hold the hands of those who are willing to live in peace with us.  I would build small school houses in remote regions of the world to give a young woman a voice about her children, something that will end radical Islam more than the bomb.  I'm all in.  Whatever it takes, as long as it takes." (December 2015, CNN GOP Debate)

“I don’t think we should be promoting Judeo-Christian values in the Arab world. I think that was the Crusades." (November 2015, Real Clear Politics)

After the Paris terrorist attacks, Graham said, "There is a sickness in the world that has to be dealt with, and the civilized world must come together to confront it. America should lead that unity." (November 2015, CNN)

“There are more terrorist organizations with safe havens to attack the American homeland than anytime since 9/11. We're in the process of reducing our defense spending by half. I am looking at this budget with one view in mind, will it restore the ability to defend this nation. We're on track to have the smallest army since 1940, the smallest navy since 1915, this budget, if it is paid for, will put $40 billion dollars back in the defense department at a time we need it. The number one role of the federal government's to defend this nation, I intend to be a Commander in Chief that can win a war we cannot afford to lose.” (October 2015, CNBC GOP Debate)

"I’m running for president to destroy radical Islam, to win the war on terror, to protect you and your family” (September 2015, 2nd Republican Debate)

“Here’s my foreign policy and my trade policy: A clenched fist or an open hand, you choose.” (August 2015, Voters First Forum)

“Radical Islam is running wild in the Mid-East. I have never been more worried about an attack on our homeland than I am right now. If I get to be president, I’m going to focus on putting radical Islam back in a box and nailing it shut.” (July 2015, The Hill)

“The Arab Spring has been hijacked. When the dictator falls the one thing I have learned is that other institutions will take over if we don’t plan for the fall. Tribal, sectarian institutions will replace the dictator.” (July 2015, Atlantic Council)

“Those who believe we can disengage from the world at large and stay safe by leading from behind, vote for someone else. I’m not your man. Those who believe the best way to defend ourselves is to lead the world, to make history rather than be overwhelmed by it, I ask for you support.” (June 2015, The Hill)

“Ronald Reagan’s policy of “peace through strength” kept America safe during the Cold War. But we will never enjoy peaceful co-existence with radical Islam because its followers are committed to destroying us and our way of life. However, America can have “Security through Strength.” (June 2015, The Hill)

“There is a fight between a radical strain of Shia and Sunni religion and most people, and if we don’t take sides we’re making a mistake…there is a second thing going on: Young people are not going to live in dictatorships for our convenience anymore. If I’m president of the United States we’re going to help these people. We’re going back and we’re not leaving till we get it right.” (June 2015, The Atlantic)

"Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula… Everything that starts with ‘Al’ in the Middle East is bad news." (May 2015, AIPAC Dinner)

U.S. Response to ISIL

"Let the Arabs fight this fight, pay for this war, but they need our help." (December 2015, CNN GOP Debate)

"It helps enormously if you defeat ISIL... ISIL is seen as the winner on the Internet, as an inspiration. The day you take Raqqa back and give it to Syrians, the day you take Mosul and give it back to Iraqis, is the day the allure of ISIL fades. They become losers." (November 2015, Washington Post)

"President Obama is providing a half-a-sed response to a national security threat, an immediate threat to the homeland. I want to provide a response that is not constrained by geography. ISIL’s in eight countries, trying to project throughout the world. After 9/11 we created authorization to allow us to attack al-Qaeda anywhere, and we need the same thing now.” (November 2015, Washington Post)

"If we don't change our strategy and come up with a ground component, there will be another 9/11... The American people are ready to take on radical Islam [because] they see it for what it is — a threat to our homeland and our way of life. (November 2015, Sunshine Summit)

"We spent $50 million training 54 people and they are down to four or five. They have been slaughtered. So we're going to need a regional army, the turks, the Jordanians, the Saudis, the Egyptians get their armies up together and 90 percent of it will be them. They're going to pay for this war because we paid for the last two. But 10 percent at least will have to be us and we're going in on the ground and we're going to pull the caliphate up by its roots and we're going to kill every one of these bastards we can find because, if we don't, they are coming here." (September 2015, 2nd Republican Debate)

If we don't stop them over there, they are coming here just as sure as I stand here in front of you. One thing I want to be clear about tonight. If you're running for president of the United States and you don't understand that we need more American ground forces in Iraq and that America has to be part of a regional ground force that will go into Syria and destroy ISIL in Syria, then you're not ready to be commander in chief. And you're not serious about destroying ISIL.” (August 2015, Fox News Debate)

“According to the generals that I know and trust, this air campaign will not destroy ISIL. We need a ground force in Iraq and Syria, and America has to be part of that ground force. According to the FBI and the director of national intelligence, Syria's becoming a perfect platform to strike our nation. I've got a very simple strategy as your president against ISIL. Whatever it takes, as long as it takes, to defeat them”. (August 2015, Fox News Debate)

“Thirty-five-hundred soldiers on the ground is not enough we need about 10,000. We need a couple of aviation battalions to take the fight to ISIL. We’re going to need embedders and trainers at the battalion level. We’re going to need air controllers to drop bombs on the right people. As to the terrorists, if I’m president of the United States, we’re going back to Iraq and we’re going to pound these guys into the ground and we’re not going to leave until the jobs done." (August 2015, Iowa State Fair)

“My number one focus would be to rebuild our military that is being gutted and then send some of our soldiers back to Iraq to work with the Iraqi army to degrade and destroy ISIL not just in Iraq but in Syria too.” (July 2015, the Hill)

“I urge the president to come up with a regional coordinated strategy that would decisively deal with both ISIL and Assad to stop the bloodletting in Syria. Our ineffective approach to Syria and Iraq continues to throw the region into chaos and is creating the perfect launching pad for an attack on the United States.” (July 2015,

“We need more American ground capacity in Iraq to ensure success by the Iraqi security forces. We also must work with regional partners to form a regional army to deal with ISIL’s safe havens in Syria. This too will require limited U.S. military participation.” (July 2015,

“ISIS is large, rich, and entrenched. If I’m president they will be poor, small and on the run, and that means we have to work with the regional forces that exist, go in on the ground and destroy this caliphate.”(June 2015, RT News)

“I don’t know how to defend us over here without some of our soldiers going back because the armies over there are failing miserably. I think there is a tie between the rise of ISIL in Syria and Iraq to homeland-security threats here. I think it is essential that America stop the slaughter, that when you crucify children, when you decimate an entire religion and America does nothing about it, we always live to regret it. This is the 1930s all over again, and this ISIL threat is something that will come our way soon if we don’t stop it over there.” (June 2015, The Atlantic)


"The one thing I’ve learned from Paris is that we need to have a timeout on bringing refugees into this country until we have a system that we think will work. So I’m calling for a timeout on Syrian refugees." (November 2015, Fox News Radio)

"If you’re not persuaded of the fact that Syria is hell on Earth, it’s going to affect our national security, it’s going to affect our allies, the King of Jordan, affecting Lebanon in historic proportions, becomes the next launching pad for 9/11. The next 9/11 is coming from Syria. And if you don’t have a plan to destroy, don’t say you want to destroy ISIL if you don’t have a plan. So one thing I don’t want Republicans to do is be Barack Obama – say things that really don’t make sense or you don’t mean. I’m going to destroy ISIL. I’m literally going to destroy them if I’m the president of the United States. There is no way in hell to destroy ISIL without a ground component in Iraq and Syria. There’s nobody left, Hugh [Hewitt], to fight in Syria. Everybody is leaving Syria. You need a regional army who has an interest. ISIL is a threat to the region. Assad is a threat to all of the Arabs. There’s an alignment of interest here. So please tell me, to those who don’t like us being part of a regional force, what are you going to do to destroy ISIL? How will you get it done?" (September 2015, Hugh Hewitt Show)

"Do you agree with me that if Assad stays in power, you can never repair Syria, because the Syrian people don’t accept him as their legitimate leader. That’s what started this whole mess. 230,000 have been slaughtered by his forces. He’s a puppet of Iran, so the region’s not going to accept him as a legitimate leader. So with Assad staying in power, Syria never gets fixed, or it never gets stabilized. So here’s what I tell the Russians. We’re going to do two things. We’re going to destroy ISIL, because it’s a threat to our homeland and our way of life, and to our allies, and Assad is going to leave, because without that, you can’t stabilize the region. And if you want to fight for Assad, you’re welcome to do so." (September 2015, Hugh Hewitt Show)

“I would support an emergency appropriation for refugees. You spend now or you spend later. I’m going to sit down with Sen. Leahy and see if we can find some money to help the international refugee associations and [the United Nations] particularly who are doing a good job trying to manage this. I don’t just want to pick a number. I don’t know how many we should take, I don’t know how much money we should spend, but I know we should take our fair share and we need to spend more to get ahead of this.” (September 2015, speech in Washington, DC)

"The Syrian people want two things: they want to defeat radical Islam and they want a new leader. They want to get rid of Assad because he has slaughtered their family." (September 2015, Fox News)

Would you take in Syrian refugees into the Unite States? "Yes. I would ask the Department of Homeland Security how to vet, but I believe we have a moral obligation. My goal is to address why they are coming. They don't come here as illegal immigrants they are fleeing genocide, rape, murder, and crucifixion...First I'd start with women and children. We have a moral obligation here, we've let this thing fester. Part of it is owned by us, last time I looked at the Statue of Liberty it had a pretty compelling statement to it....I want to make sure we step up to the plate to the Germans, if you're gonna take 500,000 refugees, that's a good statement for modern Germany to make." (September 2015, Fox News)

"If you don't fix Syria, you're never going to fix Iraq. If Syria continues to deteriorate than the King of Jordan and Lebanon are at risk. Most likely attack to our homeland comes from Syria. You can't defeat ISIL from the air, there's nobody left in Syria to train, they've all been killed. So what would I do? I'd get a ground component made up of the region: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, they all have large armies.I'd take about an 80-100,000 person army. We'd [the U.S.] be about 10% of that. I would go in on the ground with the Arabs and the Turks, I would pull the caliphate up by the roots, I'd hold the territory and push Assad out. Cause if you don't push Assad out, this never ends. That means an American ground component inside of Syria. If you can destroy ISIL without doing that, I'm dying to know how." (September 2015, Fox News)

“[President Obama’s] failure to deal with Assad three years ago has allowed ISIL to come back.” (July 2015, The Hill)

“However, if reports that Turkey has bombed Kurdish-held villages in Syria are true, the President’s feckless approach to fighting ISIL is again showing its consequences. One of my biggest fears is that the President’s mishandling of Syria would ignite regional tensions and expand the conflict. A conflict between Turkey and the Kurds only benefits ISIL and Assad and further plunges the region into chaos. This ultimately compromises our national security.” (July 2015,

“The president’s declared statement that ‘Assad must go’ has proven to be nothing more than rhetoric. And until Assad leaves, the Syrian conflict will only grow. But unfortunately for our national security and the region as a whole, at this rate Assad will be in power after President Obama leaves office.” (July 2015,

“I think I understand exactly the mess we’re in. Leaving Iraq too soon is just as bad as not having enough [troops] when you went in. At the end of the day, Syria is hell on earth. And there’s no way to fix Iraq unless you fix Syria, and you’re not going to fix Syria until you deal with [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad, ‘cause no Arab army is going to just fight ISIL.” (June 2015, The Atlantic)


“When you support Israel, you honor the rule of law, not the rule of the gun. In Israel, anybody can go to jail for abusing power. When you honor Israel, you honor an ethical military. A military that tries to minimize civilian casualties, a military that puts itself at risk to make sure it doesn’t hurt the innocent.”(July 2014, CUFIDC)

“The united nations is becoming one of the most anti-Semitic places on the planet. If a two state solution is to be had, it will only be done if Israel says yes, not the United Nations” (July 2014, CUFIDC)

“Our close ally, Israel, is at risk as a result of Obama’s failed leadership. We share values, we share democracy, and our friendship is unbreakable. To our friends in Israel, I will never abandon you. I will always stand firm in supporting the one and only Jewish state.” (June 2015, Fox Carolina)

"So I say to the Obama administration: Israel is not the problem. The Israeli people have not killed one American soldier. The Israeli people are in a dispute about their survival with the Palestinian people. The Israeli people gave land to the Palestinians, and in return they got 10,000 rockets, and you want them to do it again. Can't you understand why Israel may not want to withdraw from the West Bank given the history of Gaza? If you can't, you are completely blind to the world as it is, and your hatred and your disgust and your disdain for the Prime Minister has clouded your judgment." (March 2015,

"Do I want a two-state solution? Yes, I would like a two-state solution, where the Palestinians recognize the right of Israel to exist and they have the ability to chart their own destiny. They are not anywhere near there. The Palestinian community is broken into two parts. The Hamas terrorist organization controls the essential part of the Palestinian community. They will not recognize Israel's right to exist. They are using the territory they hold as a launching pad for attacks against Israel routinely. These are the people who launch rockets from schoolyards and apartment buildings trying to blame Israel for being the bad guy when they respond.” (March 2015,

"I talked with the Prime Minister [Netanyahu] Saturday and I congratulated him on a decisive victory and I look forward to working with him. He told me very clearly that he believes a two-state solution is not possible as long as the Palestinian Authority embraces Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip and is a terrorist organization by any reasonable definition. Who do you make peace with, Mr. President? What kind of deal can you make when almost half the Palestinian people are in the hands of a terrorist organization who vow to destroy you every day? What kind of deal is that?” (March 2015,


No statements recorded. If you'd like to submit a statement to appear on this website, please email Kristin McCarthy.

Iran Nuclear Deal 

"This deal is a nightmare for Israel. They are coming here if we don't watch it terrorism with a nuclear capability sponsored by Iran. So, yes, I would use military force to stop them. I would set this deal aside and I would get you a better deal." (September 2015, 2nd Republican Debate)

"So at the end of the day, I’m going to do two things. I’m going to cut off all funding, if I can, to the International Atomic Energy Association, $88 million dollars of your money, taxpayer dollars, until we see the side agreement. But John’s [McCain] right. It’s an agreement, not a treaty, so the next president is not bound by it. So any Republican running who’s got any doubt about whether or not they would honor this agreement, you don’t understand that why you shouldn’t honor it is it’s a death sentence to Israel, and you’re giving the Ayatollah $100 billion dollars to fund terrorist organizations to hit us. So the way you stop this agreement is to elect a president who won’t honor it." (September 2015, Hugh Hewitt radio interview)

“President Obama’s deal with Iran empowers one of our chief antagonists and the world’s most radical Islamist regime with a pathway to the bomb, missiles to deliver it, money to pay for it, and the means to acquire a new military arsenal. Instead of dismantling Iran’s nuclear program, this agreement would lock it in place. Instead of weakening this radical regime, a regime with American blood on its hand, this agreement would make Iran stronger. Before the deal, Iran was able to destabilize Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. After this deal, Iran’s power in the region will only be enhanced as it ultimately becomes a member of the nuclear club. A more powerful Iran with a bomb in the Ayatollah’s hands is a direct threat to the United States and an existential threat to our allies in Israel.” (August 2015, Senate Press Release)

"If I’m president of the United States, we’re going to reimpose sanctions until they change their behavior. And I’ll tell every French and German company if you do business with Iran, you’re going to lose the ability to do business in America. I would stop this deal.” (July 2015, NPR)

“If you infuse [the Iranian] regime with more money you are going to see a tremendous backlash from Sunni Arabs.” (July 2015, Atlantic Council)

“These nuclear negotiations with Iran scare the heck out of me. We’d be nuts to give the Iranians more money until they change their behavior. At the end of the day, a nuclear deal with Iran has to be airtight because they lie and cheat.” (July 2015, The Hill)

“I would only agree to an enrichment program that can supply the needs of a single reactor, ensure an intrusive international inspections regime, and not give the Iranians a single dollar until they change their behavior. Anything short of that is going to trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Anything short of that exposes Israel to the existential threat they cannot accommodate.” (July 2015, Atlantic Council)

“If the United States isn’t firm in our intention to deny them such weapons, Iran will trigger a nuclear arms race in the least stable region on earth, and make it more likely that people who aspire to genocide will have the most effective means to commit it.” (June 2015, Fox Carolina)

“The problem we’ve got is that [the Iranians] don’t think we’ll use military force to stop their nuclear ambitions. It will be the policy of the Graham administration that if we can’t negotiate a good deal to end your nuclear ambitions, we’ll use military force to stop you from achieving your nuclear ambitions. And when I say military force … I mean going after your infrastructure not only nuclearly, but your ability to wage war.” (June 2015, The Atlantic)

“This whole construct of treating Iran as anything but a totalitarian religious theocracy is just nuts. There are no moderates in the Iranian government. The moderates were killed a long time ago.” (June 2015, The Atlantic)

Voting Rights

“Voting is a fundamental right guaranteed to all United States citizens. I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure elections are free and fair for every South Carolinian. Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act was a necessary tool to preserve voting rights, but due to the reform and advances in South Carolina election law, it is no longer necessary. The Supreme Court noted this tremendous progress in South Carolina’s electoral system and it was the underpinning of their decision. I concur with the Court that our state has made tremendous progress.” (June 2013, press release)

"Thirty states have some form of voter ID requirement, so I think this is the future of the country, something we should embrace at the federal level, because elections do matter... All the high-jackers had -- five or six -- had fake drivers licenses, so I think sanctifying the voting process in a way that makes sense, in a way that makes sure we're electing people based on registered voters, is a goal that we should all be concerned about...I have no desire to suppress people from voting," Graham said. "I want as many people to vote as possible." (September 2011, Senate speech)

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

"I would reinstate the NSA program, as robust as possible, and the Constitutional limits... Gun control is not part of the strategy to defeat radical Islam or take ISIL down. However, it is a problem back here at home. No-fly list has a 40% false positive. Let's make it better. If you're on a no-fly list that has less false positive count me in." (December 2015, NBC)

"I've never been stopped because of the way I look. I've never been pulled over and beaten and asked, "Why are you here?" So I can imagine how that would feel. When [former U.S. Attorney General] Eric Holder told me how many times he was stopped for being black in the wrong place, that's an experience I haven't had that I need to be more sensitive to. It doesn't mean every cop that stops a young black man is racist, but it does mean the young black man has some experience I don't." (September 2015, Policy Mic interview)

“There can be no doubt that the shooting on Wednesday night [in Charleston, SC] was racially motivated and signals to all of us that the scars of our history are still with us today. Throughout our country, we still have much to do in the name of equality.” (June 2015, press release)

“If I’m President of the United States and you’re thinking about joining al-Qaeda or ISIL, I’m not gonna call a judge, I’m gonna call a drone and we will kill you.” (May 2015, Washington Post)

"This man [Boston bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev], in my view, should be designated as a potential enemy combatant and we should be allowed to question him for intelligence gathering purposes to find out about future attacks and terrorist organizations that may exist that he has knowledge of, and that evidence cannot be used against him in trial. That evidence is used to protect us as a nation. Any time we question him about his guilt or innocence, he’s entitled to his Miranda rights and a lawyer, but we have the right under our law — I’ve been a military lawyer for 30 years — to gather intelligence from enemy combatants. And a citizen can be an enemy combatant." (April 2013, CNN interview)


"If a terrorist is calling into America and we can match up phone numbers we get a get a court order to find out what the content is.  We're at war folks, they're not trying to steal your car, they're trying to kills us all.  So yes, I would re-institute [the NSA Surveillance] program." (December 2015, CNN GOP Debate)

"Islamic websites need to be monitored. And if you are on one, I want to know what you're doing." (September 2015, 2nd Republican Debate)

“If I have to monitor a mosque, I'll monitor a mosque.” (August 2015, Washington Post)

Restore the NSA that's been gutted. We're going dark when it comes to detecting the next attack. We have gutted our ability to detect the next attack. And I would not stand for that as president of the United States. I would take the fight to these guys, whatever it took, as long as it took.” (August 2015, Fox News Debate)

“I’m glad the NSA is trying to find out what the terrorists are up to overseas and in our country … I’m a Verizon customer. I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States.”(June 2013, Politico)

Community Policing

On the Black Lives Matter movement, "[it is] very polarizing now. Creating a debate is a good thing. What's the goal? To get results. I don't know that it's positioning itself to get results more than it is just one end of the spectrum versus another. But [Sen.] Tim Scott has body camera legislation. If you had asked me if Tim Scott would have done that — it was a direct response to this movement." (September 2015, Policy Mic interview)

Bigoted Speech: Instances of Condemnation and/or Use

*The Arab American Institute is leading a campaign to hold public officials accountable for their bigoted rhetoric this election cycle. Join us by signing our Pledge to Combat Bigotry, and use #NoBigotry on social media to hold candidates accountable and thank candidates who stand against it.*

"Donald Trump has done the one single thing you cannot do.  Declare war on Islam itself.  ISIL would be dancing in the streets, they just believe in dancing.  This is a coup for them, and to all of our Muslim friends throughout the world, like the King of Jordan and the President of Egypt, I am sorry.  He does not represent us.  If I am President, we will work together.  People in the faith to all over the world destroy this radical ideology.  Declaring war on the religion only helps ISIL." (December 2015, CNN GOP Debate)

"There are at least 3,500 American Muslims serving in the armed forces. Thank you for your service.  You are not the enemy.  Your religion is not the enemy… Leave the faith alone.  Go after the radicals that kill us all." (December 2015, CNN GOP Debate)

“I have a problem with any person running for president who would apply a religious test to any religious group inside of America. Mr. Carson is a fine man but the Constitution is clear here. The one thing I would tell Dr. Carson, Mr. Trump and everyone else, is that if you want to destroy Radical Islam, you have to work with people in the faith. The good news for us is that the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout the world are not buying what ISIL is selling. They don’t want to turn over their daughters over to ISIL. So if I’m president, we’re going to align ourselves with people in the faith, and take this fight against radical Islam, which is a threat to the faith and to the world at large. It’s ISIL vs. humanity. So Dr. Carson is not really helping the cause when he suggests that a group of Americans cannot run for president because of their faith. That’s specifically prohibited by the constitution. One last thing, there are 3,500 American Muslims serving their country in uniform. I have served with them in Iraq and Afghanistan and God bless them for taking up arms to protect our country and taking the fight to radical Islam.” (September 2015, Fox News)

"There is a right way to handle these situations and a wrong way to handle these situations, Donald." (September 2015, @LindseyGrahamSC)

“You had a chance here to show who you were. This happens to all of us. It happened to John McCain. You have to push back. We are trying to be the leader of a nation here....At the end of the day, this is a defining moment for Mr. Trump. The man in the audience who asked that question needs to be put in his place.” (September 2015, MSNBC interview)

“In my world Hispanics are Americans.” (September 2015, 2nd Republican Debate)

“You want to see a war on women? Come with me to Iraq and Afghanistan, folks. I've been there 35 times. I will show you what they do to women. These mythical Arab armies that my friends talk about that are going to protect us don't exist.” (August 2015, Washington Post)

“We need somebody ready to be commander-in-chief on day one, who understands there are no moderates in Iran, they've been killed a long time ago. That the Ayatollah is a radical jihadist who really means it when he chants, "Death to America, death to Israel." And this deal is giving him a pathway to a bomb, a missile to deliver it, and money to pay for it all.” (August 2015, Washington Post)

In response to a suggestion to outlaw Islam in the United States, Graham replied, "You know what, I'm not your candidate. I don't want you to vote for me. I couldn't disagree with you more. I'm not putting up with that. He's got a right to say whatever he wants to say, but I have an obligation to the Republican Party, to the people of Iowa and the country as a whole to be firm on this. I'm not buying into that construct. That's not the America that I want to lead." (July 2015, CBS)

"I don't know how you can sit with somebody for an hour in a church and pray with them and get up and shoot them. That's Mideast hate. That's something I didn't think we had here but apparently we do." (June 2015, Senate floor speech)

"We are in a religious war with radical Islamists … When I hear the President of the United States and his chief spokesperson failing to admit that we’re in a religious war, it really bothers me.” (February 2015, CNN)

Immigration Reform

“Bring people in based on merit. Let's take a broken immigration… system… and make a merit-based immigration system that will help our economy. We're going to need workers in the future.” (October 2015, CNBC GOP Debate)

“I want to increase legal immigration, because we're gonna have a shortage of workers over time… We're not going to deport 11 million people and their legal citizen children. But we will deport felons. And those who stay will have to learn our language to stay, because I don't speak it well but look how far I've come.” (October 2015, CNBC GOP Debate)

"The bottom line, I'm trying to pitch the problem. We're not going to deport 11 million people here illegally, but we'll start with felons, and off they go. And, as to the rest, you can stay, but you got to learn our language....Speaking English is a good thing. You got to pay taxes, you got to pay a fine, you got to get in the back of the line. You've got to secure your border or they'll keep coming. If you don't control who gets a job that never ends -- so got two borders. One with Canada, one with Mexico. I never met an illegal Canadian. This is an economic problem, so, folks, let's solve it. Amnesty is doing nothing, and that's what we've been doing. As to birthright citizenship, once we clean up this mess, in the future, prospectively, I'm going to look at the following. There are people buying tourist visas that go to resorts with maternity wards with the expressed purpose of having a children here in America. There are rich Asians, there are rich people up in the Mid-East... ...That to me is bastardizing citizenship... ...Yeah, I'd like to stop that in the future...” (September 2015, 2nd Republican Debate)

"I've been saying for a long time that I'm willing to change birthright citizenship after we fix the current broken immigration system." (August 2015, MSNBC)

Regarding Donald Trump’s statements about Mexicans “When Donald Trump says that most of these people are drug dealers and rapists, what you’re telling Sgt. Gomez is his mother, his older brother, his father, in the eyes of at least one Republican, are a bunch of bad people. Why would any group vote for a party who embraces that? I sure as hell wouldn’t.”(July 2015, Politico)

“A pathway to citizenship, after you secure the border, control who gets a job, more legal immigrations where they have to pass a criminal background check, learn the English language, wait10 years before you can apply for a green card.” (June 2014, The Hill)