Sen. Graham: 'Stubborn-Headed, Delusional, Detached President'

Susan Jones | June 16, 2014 | 7:01am EDT
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) (AP File Photo)

( - Sen. Lindsey Graham says he blames President Obama's "hands-off policy" for the rise of al-Qaida-linked terrorists in Iraq:

"The lack of a residual (U.S.) force -- this stubborn-headed president we have, who thinks he knows better than everybody else, who withdrew (American) troops and exposed this country to the inevitable, needs to change his policies quickly. If he does, we can still save this," Graham told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

"Stubborn-headed president?" substitute host Dana Bash asked Graham.

"Stubborn-headed, delusional, detached president, but that's the last bad thing I'm going to say," Graham responded.

"Mr. President, a lot of people want to help you, because we're in it together. The number of people that could die in this country from getting this wrong is going to be far greater than 4,000, because they're getting weapons they didn't have before."

Graham called the situation in Iraq "another 9/11 in the making."

"The FBI director has warned in Congress that Syria and Iraq present a direct threat to our homeland. You've got foreign fighters from America and Western Europe occupying this battle space. They're operating with impunity. Get into the game, Mr. President.

"You can -- leaders are judged not by the fact that they never make a mistake but how they adjust to their mistakes. Bush made plenty of mistakes. I've made plenty of mistakes. Obama's made plenty of mistakes. But we have an opportunity -- and time is running out -- to turn this around. Get involved with airpower. Stop the march toward Baghdad. Deal with Syria. But get a new government in place as quickly as you can that will bring the Iraqis back together for a counteroffensive."

"If we don't, if we don't, God help us, because we're next," Graham warned.

Graham said the Iraqis, at the end of the war, were willing to accept a residual American force, and he blames President Obama for not making it happen.

"The Obama administration wanted to say, I ended the war in Iraq; I'm going to end the war in Afghanistan. This was as predictable as the sun rising in the east. I blame President Obama mightily for a hands-off policy when it comes to Iraq."

President Obama was on vacation this weekend, golfing and socializing in California.

According to The Associated Press, the White House said Obama got several updates on the Iraq crisis in phone calls from National Security Adviser Susan Rice during his weekend stay with his wife, daughter Malia and friends in the Palm Springs area.

Obama said as he left for the trip Friday that he told his national security team to come up with options for U.S. assistance to deal with the worst instability in Iraq since the U.S. withdrawal in 2011.

Obama golfed with aides Sunday at Porcupine Creek, a course owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison.

On Saturday, he returned to the Sunnylands estate, which he's visited three times in the past year. Obama stayed at Sunnylands in two previous visits to the area, but this time was hosted by White House decorator Michael Smith and his partner, James Costos, the American ambassador to Spain.

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