Senator Lindsey Graham | 2012 USGLC Tribute Dinner

Uploaded by CUSGE on 19.07.2012

bjbj 3>/e U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Tribute Dinner July 17, 2012 Senator Lindsey
Graham (R-SC) MR. CLYDE TUGGLE: And it is my great honor to pay tribute to Senator Lindsey
Graham, one of the more extraordinary champions in Congress for our nation s international
affairs program. Senator Graham has a well-deserved reputation as a leader willing to tackle the
tough issues facing our nation. He is a recognized authority on defense and foreign policy, having
built a distinguished career in the Air Force, and who is one of only three senators serving
in the National Guard or Reserves. His military background makes him one of the most compelling
voices for why our nation must continue to invest in foreign assistance. As the new ranking
member of the State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee, he has joined Senator Leahy in assuring America
provides the leadership and resources that are so necessary to fostering a more peaceful
and prosperous world. From Iraq and Afghanistan to the unfolding events of the Arab Awakening,
Senator Graham has never shied away from fighting to ensure that America has both the military
and civilian tools necessary to keep America safe. Earlier this year, he led a group of
senators to Africa to gain a greater appreciation for the link between our global health and
economic development programs and our national interests. Senator Graham, on behalf of our
vast coalition, we thank you for your tireless leadership, for helping to keep America safe
by ensuring a strong commitment to America s leadership in the world. With your efforts,
there is no doubt our future is bright. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in thanking
an outstanding champion, Senator Lindsey Graham. (Applause.) MS. CAROLYN MILES: Let me again
just read the inscription: The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition salutes Senator Lindsey
Graham for his vision, leadership and unwavering commitment to elevating development and diplomacy
and strengthening the U.S. international affairs budget. Thank you again. SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM
(R-SC): Thank you very much. Thank you all very, very much, appreciate it. (Applause.)
I ve got one goal in the world, it s every child can buy a Coke if they want to or a
Pepsi. (Laughter.) But a couple observations and we ll get on with hearing the real talent
of the night, Colin and Madeline. The world is screwed up. I m dying to hear how you would
suggest to fix it. So (laughs) but I really appreciate both of you coming. And as Pat
said, you all been great supporters of this account. In terms of the award, I am confident
I do not deserve the award. But I m also confident I don t deserve half the crap I get, so it
(laughter) kind of levels out I guess. (Applause.) So take it where you can get it. (Laughs.)
Senator Leahy mentioned the House. Kay Granger Kay, are you here tonight? She is the chairman
(applause) of the Foreign Ops Subcommittee, which is a hell of a lot harder than being
in the Senate. So she s swimming with sharks over there. And I really appreciate her guts,
for lack of a better word. Pat Leahy, we cancel each other s vote out 99 percent of the time.
Get this on the tape, because in case this is played back home. (Laughter.) But I could
not have asked for a better partner and I hope to switch jobs with him next year and
be chairman myself, but (laughter) but Pat has been involved with the account for years.
Him and Tim are great to work with. And it really is tough here at home South Carolina,
Vermont, you name it. There are a lot of people out there in America hurting. We have high
unemployment. We ve got a lot of problems to solve here at home. And people are right
to ask us about how we spend their money. But the one thing about Senator Leahy, he
has made it as easy as possible for a conservative Republican to support this account. And I
really do appreciate that. (Applause.) Now, the question needs to be asked, why would
a Senator from South Carolina want to be the ranking member of the Foreign Aid Subcommittee?
I ask myself that. If you have any ideas, pass them on to me. (Laughter.) Let me tell
you what drove me to want to partner with Pat. I have been involved with the military,
not nearly the record you know, I ve been a military lawyer. The only people that really
ever wanted to kill me were my own clients. (Laughter.) But Colin Powell has been a hero
for many years. But the highlight of my life has been wearing the uniform of our nation
as an Air Force officer. And I know how hard it s been on our men and women in the military
since 9/11. But to our men and women in the State Department and USAID, you need how about
a round of applause for them? (Cheers, applause.) You face the same dangers as our men and women
in uniform, and you re armed with something other than an M4. You re armed with the idea
of what America represents. I think in many ways the men and women in this room tonight
business people, military leaders, the NGOs of the world that you are al-Qaida s worst
nightmare (applause) and you represent the best hope of mankind. You know, if I do what
Senator Thurman, my predecessor, was able to do, I ll have 46 more years to serve. (Laughter.)
I m going to miss y all guys. (Laughs.) My first ll get married in 10 years and have
my first child when I m 68. (Laughter.) So I got a lot to look forward to. (Laughter.)
But I don t really know what awaits me politically, but I do know this, that while I m in the
Congress and while I have the privilege to represent the great people of South Carolina
like Tony Beam and I cannot tell you how important Tony Beam has been to Lindsey Graham. He is
a Christian radio personality in Greenville, South Carolina. And when I go on his show,
we have a very good discussion about why America should be involved in the world, and why it
s OK for the foreign aid account to exist. And to Liz Liz rocks. (Applause.) You do just
a you do a terrific job. But the reason I wanted to be on this subcommittee and to be
Pat s partner, I realize that we re not going to be able to kill enough terrorists to make
the world a safer place. And I refuse to give the continent of Africa over to the communist
Chinese. We re going to fight for Africa. (Applause.) We re going to create opportunity
for American businesses in Africa. We re not going to exploit their resources; we re going
to help their people. And one of my heroes (applause) and it will be to our benefit.
One of my heroes is George W. Bush. I m sure he made his fair share of mistakes, but the
one thing I can tell you above all else he got right was America s role in the world
when it comes to Africa. So President Bush, thank you very much. (Applause.) You will
be my role model in terms of how I engage this account. Finally, it is 1 percent of
the budget, but that s still $50 billion. Do you know how long it takes for the average
working person to generate enough taxes to send $50 billion to Washington? For some people
it takes a lot of people all their lives. So, yes, it is 1 percent of the budget, but
it is real money coming from hardworking people. And here s what I believe about these people
liberal, conservative, moderate, vegetarian, libertarian (laughter) I believe that one
thing that unites conservatives and liberals and moderates is the view of who we are as
a people. And our goal is to explain to the American taxpayer that we take every dollar
you send to us seriously when we spend it through the foreign operations account. And
as Pat said, we need to hold governments more accountable. We need to hold our own government
more accountable. And our USAID director has been a breath of fresh air. Thank you very
much, Raj. (Applause.) But here s the story Lindsey Graham is going to tell to the tea
party, to the Chamber of Commerce. Ronald Reagan said: It is Americans America s destiny
to shape the future of the world, not have the world shape us. I believe that. I believe
that it matters what happens in Afghanistan because 9/11, if nothing else, has taught
us it matters. And Pat, when some young woman is being killed in a soccer stadium by a bunch
of thugs, it s only a matter of time before that affects us. So let s get involved. Let
s stay engaged. And here s the story that I want to tell, that every dollar we spend
will be managed as well as possible. We will make our fair share of mistakes, but the biggest
mistake of all for America is to withdraw and turn the world over (applause) to people
with the darkest vision of mankind. To the NGOs here tonight, to the faith-based community,
God bless you. Your works and deeds are being recorded as I speak, in heaven. To the American
taxpayer, I can assure you that this 1 percent is doing a lot of good throughout the world,
that there are babies alive today who would not have made it, except for America. There
s clean water in places that have never known it before. There s a schoolhouse that exists
because of the American people. And to the American people, this will pay more dividends
to our country in the future than any single thing we could do, because I do believe we
ve been blessed by God. And the way to stay in His good graces is to spend our money wisely
in the cause of mankind. Thank you very much. (Applause.) MS. MILES: Thank you, Senator
Graham. Thank you, Senator Leahy. I think I m not going to mention my vegetarianism.
(Laughter.) It seems to get lumped in with some other interesting things. But on behalf
of everyone here tonight, we express our deep gratitude again to both Senators Leahy and
Senators Graham for their leadership and support for our international affairs program. I now
want to invite everybody to enjoy dinner. We ll continue the program with Secretaries
Albright and Secretary Powell in a little while. Thank you. (Applause.) (END) PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT
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