Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) pre-emptively congratulated President Obama on his “victory” in the fiscal cliff debate Sunday, but said the success is “hollow” in terms of averting the various crises currently facing the nation.
He explained on Fox News Sunday:
“What have we accomplished? Political victory for the president. Hats off to the president– he stood his ground. He’s going to get tax rate increases– maybe not at [$250,000], but on upper-income Americans.
“And the sad news for the country is that we’ve accomplished very little in not becoming Greece, or getting out of debt. This deal won’t affect the debt situation. And it will be a political victory for the president, and I hope we have courage of our convictions when it comes to raise the debt ceiling to fight what we believe as Republicans. But hats off to the president; he won.”
On CNN, Graham elaborated on the president’s reported unwillingness to strike a deal, despite his repeated calls for bipartisanship and fairness.
“[President Obama] is really, quite frankly, small-minded in consequential times. I find him to be a hard guy to know and understand,” he stated.
But the bottom line, according to Graham, is getting a deal passed. If they don’t– and fast– a frightening number of taxes are set to increase and military spending will be slashed.
Graham would prefer to see the Bush-era tax rates extended for all Americans, he said, but will vote to avert the worst of the tax increases and spending cuts.
“I want to vote for it, even though I won’t like it, because the country has got a lot at stake here,” he concluded.
Watch the Fox News appearance, which also includes commentary from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), via Mediaite: