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Graham Says Reid Called Troops Losers, Boxer Smacks Him Down

On Sunday's "Late Edition" Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) amid the flurry of RNC talking points, tells an outright lie, saying that Senate

LE-Boxer-Losers On Sunday's "Late Edition" Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) amid the flurry of RNC talking points, tells an outright lie, saying that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called the troops "losers." As you'll see from the video, Rep. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) wastes no time putting Graham in his place.

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BOXER: I don't know anyone who opposes this war that ever said our troops are losers. Our troopers are winners.

GRAHAM: Harry Reid did.

BOXER: Excuse me. He never said our troops are losers. Now, Lindsey, just be careful what you say. The bottom line here is, the losers are the ones who have, you know, engineered this war, made a huge mistake, Dick Cheney, we're in the last throes, the war will last six months, and all of you who have supported this escalation and have turned us away from fighting al Qaida into putting us in the middle of a civil war.

Boxer: "The loser is the Commander in Chief who has not lead our country well."

Update: Amato: Memo to CNN: Graham is not a (D)---I'm just saying...And Lindsey will always back up his brother in arms---John McCain...He makes no move unless cleared by the Sainted One...

le-graham-dem1.jpg (h/t C&Ler) Full transcript below the fold

BLITZER: All right. So, what do you say to that fear that if you get your way, Iraq's going to become a base for al Qaida to start attacking Americans around the world?

BOXER: If I get my way, my way is the way of the American people. They say we have sacrificed blood, we have sacrificed hundreds of billions of dollars, and what do we have to show for it?

We went in there because we wanted to get the weapons of mass destruction. Remember that? We found there were none. OK. Well, the president said, as long as we're there, let's get Saddam. Our troops were brilliant. They got Saddam. After we got Saddam, a lot of us thought, OK, time to let the Iraqis now deal with their own country.

Oh, no. We had to get the sons. We had to get the relatives and show their bodies to show we meant business. OK. A lot of us thought that was time. Then we had to make sure there were elections. Our troops were magnificent. Three elections. And now there's no end in sight. And the fearmongering that goes on, if we don't fight them there, we'll fight them here.

I have news for everybody. We are in a war against terrorism here. There are al Qaida cells here. And yes, there's al Qaida in Iraq, and that's why Russ Feingold, Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, myself, many of us say we need to stay in the region and fight al Qaida and finally get bin Laden.

So the status quo is making us weak. It's taking our eye off the war against terror. And that's my way. My way is the way of the American people.

Wars have end, Wolf. They have end. Unless you're a permanent occupier, and we've never seen so.

BLITZER: And the polls do back her up, Senator Graham. The American public wants the U.S. to set a timetable to get out of Iraq.

GRAHAM: Well, the people in South Carolina want me to use my best judgment, and I'm up for election in 2008. And if I'm not using the judgment that the people of South Carolina believe makes sense, then I'll lose my job. I'm very much willing to lose my job to make sure we don't lose this battle in Iraq, which is part of a global struggle against terrorism.

Al Qaida's there for a reason. But if the Shia extremists win the day and align with Iran, we're going you have a bigger war. If the Sunni extremists topple this government and there's an all-out civil war, the Sunni Arab states are not going to sit on the sidelines and watch their brothers -- Sunni brothers and sisters get killed or slaughtered. If the Kurdish north breaks away from Iraq, the Turks are not going to sit on the sidelines.

So, the consequences of a failed state for the region, for the world, and our national security interests are huge and great. And the surge is in its infant stages. Everyone's not on the ground yet. It's our last best chance. Let's don't undercut it.

Let's don't declare this war lost, because you're telling Petraeus and all these soldiers that Barbara just talked about they're losers. They have not had the opportunity...

BOXER: Oh, I've just got to straighten out the record on this.

GRAHAM: ... to implement this strategy.

BLITZER: All right.

GRAHAM: And if I may finish my thought, if I may finish my thought, those who, no matter how well-intentioned, are calling for our withdrawal, deadlines and timelines that inform the enemy about how to beat us, are in fact the authors of a greater war. The Bush administration screwed this up early on by not having enough troops. I support the surge. I'll take the consequences of its failure. Give it a chance. But if it all fails we're going to have a bigger war.

BLITZER: Let me let Senator Boxer respond.

BOXER: I don't know anyone who opposes this war that ever said our troops are losers. Our troopers are winners.

GRAHAM: Harry Reid did.

BOXER: Excuse me. He never said our troops are losers. Now, Lindsey, just be careful what you say. The bottom line here is, the losers are the ones who have, you know, engineered this war, made a huge mistake, Dick Cheney, we're in the last throes, the war will last six months, and all of you who have supported this escalation and have turned us away from fighting al Qaida into putting us in the middle of a civil war.

Now, the fact is I want to be very clear on this, Wolf. I've lost in California 21 percent of the dead troops. You understand that? Twenty-one percent either were born in California or were stationed in California.

I have their names listed in the front of my office. If you come and see my office, they are all on these charts. And you know what, Lindsey? I have to keep making the print on the charts smaller and smaller to fit all the names on four full charts.

BLITZER: Senator?

BOXER: So don't say anyone calls them losers. They're winners. The loser is the commander in chief who has not led our country well

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