Graham: Congress must OK Iran deal

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2011, file photo Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. speaks to reporters following a Republican policy meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lawmakers who came to Washington demanding budget cuts face a tough test now that President Barack Obama and military leaders want to shrink the force, shut down bases and cancel weapons to achieve them. "It's funny that we want to save money everywhere except when it can bother us," Graham, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said in an interview. He's one of the few lawmakers who favors another round of domestic base closings.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

FILE – In this Nov. 29, 2011, file photo Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. speaks to reporters following a Republican policy meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.

A bad deal with Iran will lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Monday in Bedford.

“When they say they’re not trying to build a nuclear weapon, they’re liars,” Graham said of Iran.

Graham, on his second day in New Hampshire as he explores a run for president, said any U.S. negotiation with Iran should not be honored unless Congress approves it.

The three-term senator is a co-sponsor of legislation that would provide review and oversight of agreements related to Iran’s nuclear program.

Graham is making his first visit to New Hampshire since launching a committee in January. He also spoke of the importance of entitlement and immigration reforms Monday at the “Politics & Eggs” breakfast forum hosted by the New England Council and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

Fixing the nation’s immigration system is critical for the country’s economy, he said. He added that it should be a priority for the GOP.

Graham said he believes that the U.S. Supreme Court will be ruling against parts of the Affordable Care Act, and that it is imperative for Republicans to come up with a sound substitute. Any alternative, he said, would keep some sensible parts of “Obamacare.”
On Sunday, Graham was the guest at the inaugural “Politics & Pie” event hosted by the Concord GOP at the Snow Shoe Club in Concord.

“They put me in front of a roaring fireplace, which was nice for about five minutes. I literally almost caught on fire. I thought the witch trials were over,” Graham said to laughs Monday at the Bedford Village Inn. “I guess a trial by fire is what New Hampshire is all about – at least it was for me. Don’t ever lose what you’ve got. If it weren’t for New Hampshire, and Iowa and South Carolina, you could buy the presidency. You’re an antidote for big money.”

Graham began his remarks by telling part of his life story, including his dad owning a liquor store, restaurant and a pool room in South Carolina. He said he learned diplomacy from working his family store, and everything he knows about politics he learned from working in that pool room.

After the event, Graham performed what’s become a political pastime: autographing a bunch of those wooden eggs with the “Politics & Eggs” emblem for audience members.

Graham promised he would be back to New Hampshire. He said he was going to “do weddings, bar mitzvahs – anything it takes to get known up here.”

By Union Leader