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OTR Interviews

Lindsey Graham: Obama doesn't know what he is doing in Iraq

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 1, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

 

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: It's getting so crowded, but certainly more intriguing, every single day. Now there's Republican Senator Lindsey Graham making this big announcement:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Lindsey Graham and I'm running for President of the United States.

(APPLAUSE) 

GRAHAM: I want to be president to defeat the enemies that are trying to kill us. Not just penalize them or criticize them or contain them, but defeat them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: And from his hometown of central South Carolina, Senator and now Presidential Candidate Lindsey Graham with his sister Darline, by his side went "On the Record."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

VAN SUSTEREN: Can we beat ISIS alone?

GRAHAM: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: And is it wise that -- I mean, I know our military could probably (inaudible) military, but how would you take the fight to is?

GRAHAM: Well number one, you've got realize there's a fight for the heart and soul of Islam going on before our eyes. ISIS is a small minority of people in this --

VAN SUSTEREN: But a very vicious --

GRAHAM: Very determined.

VAN SUSTEREN: And determined minority.

GRAHAM: So here is the hand we've got, got a pretty good hand, actually. Most people are not buying what they are selling but the region is in chaos. Leaving Iraq too soon, created a fracturing of Iraq. In 2011, the place was pretty secure. Political process was abounding. The army was working together. President Obama pulled the plug and it all fell apart.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why did he do that?

GRAHAM: I just think he made a political promise. You know he wanted to just to end wars. He said he got elected to end wars. And keeping a presence, that was inconsistent with ending the war in Iraq, but this-- advice he got from his military commanders, then he turned it down in his own barrel. President Bush made a lot of mistakes. He went in and disbanded their army. He was telling everybody, along with Cheney, it just a few dead-enders. We ask for our own selves to resign because we thought they didn't know what they were doing. I can promise you, President Obama doesn't know what he is doing.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right.

GRAHAM: But Bush, he did adjust, to his credit. President Bush adjusted his policies when they were failing. Can anybody in their right mind say that our plan against ISIS is working? It is clearly not working. It will never work and until we adjust our policies. We need more American boots on the ground and in partnership with people in the region to go after these guys. If you don't come up with the plan to deal with them in Syria you will never fix Iraq. And here is what I worried the most about, that the foreign fighters going to help ISIS are going to come here.

VAN SUSTEREN: With you present see, it's going to be much discussion on social issues?

GRAHAM: Yeah. I'm proudly pro-life. We would, we would not be engage --

VAN SUSTEREN: Gay marriage?

GRAHAM: That's going to be determined by the courts, but I believe that marriage should be decided by each state within their own values.

VAN SUSTEREN: So, if a state says they are in favor of gay marriage, you're in favor of gay marriage.

GRAHAM: That's the concept is to let people in each state decide their own way of doing business. But court rule here soon and I will say this, if the court rules that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, then we have to move on. What I will going to do then is to protect religious institutions to make sure that they don't have to, you know, be overrun. Religious institutions, churches, people of faith, should be able to conduct their lives consistent with their faith. So the next step, if the court says same-sex marriage fans are unconstitutional, to make sure that church is not forced to do things outside of their religion.