National issues on the local level
By Stan Welch
United States Senator Lindsey Graham toured Williamston’s Walgreen’s Distribution Center Tuesday. During the tour, Sen. Graham also spoke with The Journal about several issues, most notably the effort to investigate the events at Benghazi, Libya where American ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died on September 11, 2012.
United States Senator Lindsey Graham toured Anderson’s Walgreen’s Distribution Center Tuesday, calling it a remarkable facility, and lauding the company for providing jobs for approximately six hundred people; forty per cent of which are people with various disabilities.
Larry Kraemer, human resources manager for the facility, said that Walgreen’s employs approximately eleven hundred people with disabilities throughout the corporate distribution system. “I’ve been in four different states and South Carolina has, by far, the best work force, both able-bodied and disabled. We just have great employees here.”
Sen. Graham, who shook hands with a number of employees at their work stations, remarked several times at how long they had been on the job there. The facility opened in 2007, and many of the employees have been their ever since. The facility represents a $200 million capital investment.
During the tour, Sen. Graham spoke with The Journal about several issues, most notably the effort to investigate the events at Benghazi, Libya where American ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died on September 11, 2012. Graham has made the issue a focus of his, and says that progress is being made.
“The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report recently, describing the events as preventable, and making it official that it was a terrorist attack, and not some impromptu response to a video, is a big step” said Graham. “But we are excluding some possibilities that I want to explore.”
Asked to explain, Graham said that he wants to know who in the White House changed the talking points about the attack, and began pushing the story that a video insulting Islam and available on YouTube had led to the burning of the American consulate, and the murder of four Americans.
“It is nothing short of incredible that, two weeks after the attack, our President went before the United Nations and repeated what has since been exposed as a lie. And he sent Susan Rice out to peddle the same story because Secretary Clinton was tired, or sick, or hit her head and got a concussion,” said Graham. “Rice was the most compliant so she got sent out.”
Graham says that he doesn’t buy any part of the President’s or Clinton’s explanations. “ Benghazi was a major foreign policy failure just weeks before the 2012 elections. The narrative chosen for publication by the administration was designed to make Obama look as inculpable as possible. If George Bush had been in a similar situation, he would have been impeached by now and the media would be all over him. They are giving Obama and Clinton a free pass on this, but not me. The families of those men deserve better.” But he realizes what lies ahead. “It’s going to be a hell of a fight, but I’m going to keep pushing.”
Asked about the option of impeachment, at least in the Republican controlled House, Graham held out little hope. “We would have to have more than we do right now. What we need to do as the Republican Party is to get our act together and show the American people we are prepared and able to govern. It’s not often you get a second act in politics, but I think the Republicans may be about to get just that. We need to be ready when we do.”
Graham also spoke to the issue of gun control, saying he thinks the Dems have probably realized that such efforts aren’t going anywhere. “We had sixty votes in the Senate against the assault gun ban. There are probably some things we could do in terms of accessibility for those facing mental health issues and the like. I just think Obama and Joe Biden misjudged that whole situation. I just don’t see gun control going anywhere.”
Asked about the four Republicans facing him in the June primary, Graham expressed confidence. “Competition is good. I expect to earn my job as Senator. That’s how it should be. Once the comparative shopping really starts, we’ll see how it goes.”