Jan 27 2010

Graham Reacts to the State of the Union Address to the Nation

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement.

"I appreciate the President personally. But we have serious philosophical differences on some of the biggest issues facing our nation.

"On health care, I believe the people of Massachusetts spoke for the entire nation when they said ‘no' to the Democratic health care bill. It was too big in scope, added hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit, increased taxes and cut Medicare in a fashion that did not put the program on sound financial footing in years to come. I look forward to working on a new way forward on health care -- more modest in scope -- that will focus on lowering the health care costs for Americans.

"I believe energy independence is one of the defining issues of our time. Last year we spent nearly $400 billion on foreign oil and now find ourselves more dependent on overseas supplies than at any other time in our nation's history. Sometimes our money even goes to fund enemies bent on our destruction. I will continue working with the Obama Administration and my colleagues in the Senate to create an energy independent nation. As Americans we deserve to have the cleanest air, cleanest water, and not be reliant on a volatile and unpredictable region for our energy supplies. It is a national imperative we get this done.

"Finally, the 9/11 conspirators should be tried by military commission, not by civilian court. I will do everything in my power to oppose this Administration's decision to give terror suspects like Khalid Sheikh Mohammad the same rights in court as American citizens. The decision to prosecute enemy combatants captured on foreign battlefields in civilian court is without precedent in our nation's history.

"We remain a nation at war. I remain concerned that by bringing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other terrorists responsible for 9/11 to the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan -- only blocks away from where the Twin Towers once stood -- we will be providing them one of the most visible platforms in the world to exalt their past acts and to rally others in support of further terrorism. Such a trial would almost certainly become a recruitment and radicalization tool for those who wish us harm.

"I know that as a nation we have more difficult days ahead. I'll do what I can to find common ground on the serious issues facing us, but I also remain prepared to say ‘no' when I must."