Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who is pinning his presidential run on his foreign policy credentials, knocked GOP front-runners Donald Trump and Ben Carson’s approach as “bizarre” and nonsensical after the pair discussed the 9/11 attacks and the war in Afghanistan.
After slamming their “incoherent foreign policy ‘plans'” Sunday on Twitter, Graham said Monday on Fox News that Trump and Carson “don’t understand the war” in Afghanistan and said the pair need to “get some good sound advice.”
“Hillary Clinton will mop the floor with these guys if the response of our two leading candidates for president is that after 9/11 they would not have gone into Afghanistan to take the Taliban down,” Graham said.
Both Carson and Trump have been critical of then-President George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terror attacks, with Trump calling the decision a “terrible mistake” and Carson suggesting Sunday that “drones,” “intelligence” and “things of that nature” would have sufficed in Afghanistan as a response to the attacks.
Carson also said Sunday that declaring energy independence in the wake of 9/11 attacks would have prompted the Saudis to capture Osama bin Laden, despite the fact that Saudi Arabia had long since viewed bin Laden as an enemy.
He said he “certainly” doesn’t believe Bush was responsible for the attacks, but said he also didn’t believe Trump was blaming the former president.
Trump and Graham have repeatedly sparred on the campaign trail, and the South Carolinian continues to remain at the bottom of the polls.
Graham on Monday knocked Trump’s assertion that tougher immigration laws would have prevented the 9/11 attacks given that the hijackers entered the U.S. legally and pressed Trump for specifics on how he would have handled the aftermath of the attacks.
Graham, who would send American ground troops into Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS, said Monday that Trump’s “hands-off” vision of foreign policy “makes no sense to me.”
“If we don’t destroy ISIL…they’re going to hit us here,” Graham said.