Jul 3, 2015 5:30 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
MANCHESTER – For Sen. Lindsey Graham, any hopes of winning the Republican presidential nomination rests with a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary.
Graham hails from South Carolina, which votes third in the primary and caucus calendar, following Iowa and the Granite State.
“I’m not running just to win South Carolina. I gotta break out before South Carolina in my own mind. The best place for me to do it is New Hampshire. You have a lot of independent voters.” Graham said Friday in a one-on-one interview with NH1 News.
“I talk about three things. Too many tariffs, too much debt, too few jobs,’ Graham continued. “New Hampshire is known for being like practical fiscal conservatives. We’re on the road to becoming Greece unless the next president can do what Obama’s failed to do, which is bring us together and do what Judd Gregg has proposed to do and fixing the debt.”
Graham spoke to NH1 News during a day that his campaign said was jam-packed with “private meetings.” Saturday Graham joins four other Republican presidential candidates and two Democratic White House contenders in marching in Granite State July 4th parades. Graham is scheduled to march in the Amherst and Center Harbor parades.
By the end of the month, there will be 16 major Republicans running for the GOP presidential nomination. Asked how he can stand out, Graham said “I just think experience. I don’t think anyone in this race is better prepared to be commander-in-chief than I am. I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan over 35 times. I know the people in the region. They know me. I understand how we got in this mess.”
“I’m telling people if you want a commander-in-chief ready to go on day one, vote for me. Thirty-three years in the air force. Been in the region busting my butt for the last decade,” the longtime member of the Senate Armed Services committee said.
Graham continued, with a warning of a terrorist attack, saying “it’s just a matter of time before we get hit hard. There’s too many of these guys to keep track of and in the face of growing threats we’re reducing our defense spending to all-time lows, which is a formula for disaster.”
Graham’s a longshot for the nomination, and may not make the cut for the first GOP presidential nomination debate. Only 10 candidates will make the stage at the August 6 showdown in Cleveland (host city for next year’s Republican convention). With 14 candidates already declared and at least two more GOP White House hopefuls all but certain to announce, a bunch of contenders won’t make the cut. Fox News is using an average of national polling to determine who makes the stage.
Asked about the debate, Graham said “it’s a disaster. Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina have three things in common. We’re small, we’re tenacious, we’re informed voters. To get the nomination in the Republican party you’ve got to start in Iowa, you got to go to New Hampshire and you gotta come to South Carolina. About a million-two will vote. It gives a guy like me a chance.”
And Graham warned that “nationalizing the debate nationalizes the election. If you can’t get in the debate unless you have national numbers, you’re going to be in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, less. You’re going to spend your money driving up your national numbers. It’s the beginning of the end of the New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina primaries and caucuses. I don’t’ know why the Republican Party feels the need to do this. I think it’s a dumb idea.”
Graham works closely in the U.S. Senate with Sen. Kelly Ayotte. The Granite State Republican faces a challenging re-election next year. Graham called Ayotte “awesome.”
Asked if we’ll see Ayotte and Graham on the primary campaign trail together in New Hampshire, Graham said “Kelly is going to focus on her race. My advice to Kelly Ayotte is to be nice to all of us but focus on your race. She is a national treasure for the Republican Party.”
Graham spoke with NH1 News for the first time since the shooting deaths of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston by a white shooter. The horrific incident spurred state political leaders to push to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capital in Columbia.
“It’s been absolutely gut wrenching tragedy,” Graham said. “I still have a hard time understanding how a young man could drive for two hours, be welcoming into a church to study the bible, after an hour get up and kill nine people. That’s a level of hate that’s hard to wrap your head around.”
But Graham said “it’s been transformational moment in South Carolina. The churches are filled. We’re all talking to each other, hugging each other in a way I’ve never seen. The flag will come down, July the sixth I think it will be brought down.”
As for the flag, he said “it’s going to go to a museum, you can look at it, have any view you would like, but it’s coming down from our state capitol.”
1 hour 1 minute agoNeighbors who live near the scene of a homicide in Manchester say they're 'unnerved' that something that serious happened so close to home. (More)
10 hours 9 minutes agoA Massachusetts woman who pleaded guilty in the fentanyl overdose death of a 17-year-old girl at a New Hampshire motel is scheduled to be...
Mar 27, 2017 2:38 PMA Manchester woman allegedly threatened to poop on an officer's leg following a domestic assault incident. (More)
Mar 27, 2017 11:58 AMSupporters of convicted murderer Pam Smart launched a Twitterstorm to support her release after she coerced her teenage lover into killing her husband. (More)
2 hours 50 minutes agoThe New Hampshire Attorney General announced an ongoing investigation into the untimely death of an adult man. (More)
8 hours 15 minutes agoThe Manchester Police Department was on scene of an 'untimely death' Tuesday morning. (More)
19 hours 18 minutes agoA Florida woman was charged after crossing the yellow line and colliding with another vehicle head-on in Rochester. (More)
Mar 27, 2017 1:02 PMThe Manchester Police Department awarded a man - who recently evicted the tenants from his Derry home following a shooting - officer of the...
Mar 27, 2017 10:34 AMA local carpentry company was slapped with a fine earlier this month by OSHA as they investigate a truss collapse that occurred last year...
19 hours 43 minutes agoA snowmobiler was found dead on a trail Monday from an apparent collision with a tree after failing to return home Sunday night. (More)
Mar 26, 2017 9:35 PMPolice said a sex offender kicked down a door and then assaulted a man. He is charged with burglary, simple assault and possession of...
Mar 27, 2017 9:00 AMThe advisory warns of mixed snow, sleet, freezing rain for central and northern areas today. A brief period of freezing rain will occur closer...
Mar 25, 2017 7:52 PMA South Carolina man who wrapped electrical tape around a dog's muzzle to stop her from barking has been sentenced to five years in...
Mar 26, 2017 5:59 PMOfficials transported a young child to a local hospital with minor injuries after they allegedly ran into a moving car. (More)
Mar 26, 2017 10:40 AMA Hooksett man faces charges after he allegedly pushed his girlfriend twice and choked her, impeding her breathing. (More)
Mar 26, 2017 12:29 PMChichester Fire and Rescue extinguished a heavy kitchen fire, leading to the death of household pets. (More)
Mar 26, 2017 11:43 AMPolice allegedly found crack cocaine and heroin on a man wanted on an arrest warrant. (More)
Mar 25, 2017 9:34 AMA Tilton felon is facing drug and gun charges after police allegedly saw him slumped over the wheel of his car Saturday around 1...
Mar 24, 2017 5:19 PMWhile executing a search warrant, police seized what is believed to be psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, and butane honey oil. (More)
Mar 25, 2017 4:30 PMPolice arrested a woman after she left her 2-year-old in her running vehicle while she shopped at Target Saturday. (More)
Mar 25, 2017 2:54 PMThe newly appointed deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee says the Democratic party can't spend all of its energy focusing on Republican President...
Mar 24, 2017 9:33 AMNew Hampshire State Police arrested to wanted fugitives after stopping a van full of people who entered the United States illegally. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 3:59 PMTwo influential members of New Hampshire’s state Senate predict that a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession will pass their chamber. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 3:51 PMSnow fell faster than expected today, accumulating a few inches in parts of central and northern New Hampshire through late-afternoon. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 12:39 PMA woman is facing drug charges after being found in possession of heroin during a parole check-in. She was arrested for possession of a...
Mar 23, 2017 4:16 PMState Police rearrested a Wales man for stealing electricity from a Central Maine Power pole and transformer. (More)
Mar 23, 2017 4:59 PMA Stafford County corrections officer allegedly tried bringing thousands of dollars of drugs into the jail was supposed to get deployed. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 11:09 AMIt's the first Friday of spring, but Granite Staters will have some snow to deal with. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 9:02 AMThe effort to crack down on drug-related crimes - known NH-wide as Operation Granite Hammer - led to the arrests of 2 suspected heroin...
Mar 23, 2017 3:02 PMA Keene man was indicted for allegedly strangling two of his then-girlfriend's cats. (More)
Mar 23, 2017 1:28 PMDemocrats filed a complaint with the ethics committee arguing Sununu violated rules against using his position to secure advantages for himself or others. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 5:27 PMNicole Guida, owner of Chic & Unique, a boutique shop located in Littleton, is requesting a jury trial against a former customer who caused...
Mar 22, 2017 6:02 PMA Strafford County corrections officer allegedly attempted to bring heroin into the jail before being detained by police. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 11:01 AMChelsea Blais plead not guilty to abusing children in her care at the Alpha Bits Learning Center, where police say she force fed and...
Mar 22, 2017 10:15 AMNYPD seized over $4.1 million and over three kilograms (6 pounds) of heroin, unraveling a multi-state drug ring — involving New England. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 4:06 PMNew Hampshire is often in the 'weather battle zone' this time of year, which isn't a good thing if you are looking for spring...
Mar 22, 2017 10:45 AMNew Hampshire’s top public officials Wednesday marked the death of state Sen. Scott McGilvray. The first term Democratic state senator from Hooksett and president...
Mar 22, 2017 7:33 AMThe National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory from 10 a.m. Wednesday to midnight. (More)
Mar 21, 2017 10:29 PMA report released on Tuesday by the state agency that licenses childcare centers revealed multiple incidents of verbal and physical abuse committed by a...
Mar 21, 2017 6:40 PMA mother and her friend who injected her with heroin while she was in labor in September 2016 will not be facing felony charges...
Mar 21, 2017 4:09 PMA 74-year-old Mass. man living in public housing for the elderly faces drug trafficking charges after police say they found cocaine valued at about...
Mar 21, 2017 12:09 PMDerry Police say a home was shot at and struck at least 6 times early Tuesday morning, but no one was hurt. (More)
Mar 21, 2017 12:26 PMA woman has been charge with assault against three infants at a Manchester day care center. The three victims are all younger than 1-years-old....
Mar 20, 2017 4:05 PMA man who pleaded guilty to supplying a person in Rochester with a deadly dose of drugs will spend between 8- and 16-years in...
Mar 20, 2017 4:01 PMOnlyInYourState.com has provided nine places in the Granite State where you might be able to spot a ghost. (More)
Mar 20, 2017 2:31 PMPolice are searching for a man who allegedly punched and injured another man at a diner in Manchester. (More)
Mar 20, 2017 3:56 PMA 21-year-old man destroyed his family home after trying to exterminate ants with wooden matches, killing their two cats and a dog. (More)
Mar 20, 2017 4:14 PMA state representative cited house rules when she told a New Hampshire man to stop recording a committee meeting - rules that apparently do...
Mar 19, 2017 5:08 PMA new kind of roller coaster experience is set to premiere next month at Six Flags New England. (More)