Graham: Muslims Should Be Scrutinized ‘Based on Behavior’

Jewish Insider caught up with Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham after addressing a crowd of 120 people at the Metropolitan Republican Club in NYC Thursday evening.

“The pro-Israel community has been a godsend of Lindsey Graham because of my unwavering support for the State of Israel,” Graham told Jewish Insider. “I’ll never forget this. It means the world to me that the American pro-Israel community, Evangelical Christians, and Jewish-Americans have been supportive of me. I’ll never, ever forget that. I’m very appreciative of that.”

We asked the presidential hopeful whether he agrees with the remarks made by Hollywood mogul Haim Saban, a personal friend of his, suggesting that Muslim immigrants should be more scrutinized when entering the United States in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Paris and ISIS threatening to hit America.

“I think your behavior is what makes you scrutinized, not your background or religion,” Graham said. “We are Americans – we believe in religious diversity. But at the end of the day, it is your behavior. I’m not going to start profiling people based on their faith.”

But Graham seemed to somewhat agree with Saban that refugees coming from the Middle East need to go through a far more stricter screening process. “I’m very worried about an attack in the United States. I want to expand the NSA program, not shut it down,” he said. “And I don’t mind looking at one group differently than the other because the relent a larger threat.”

“We need to wake up to the reality that young men from the Middle East are a bigger threat than young men from other places,” the South Carolina Senator asserted. “What Israel does make sense. But the key here is to destroy ISIL. If you don’t go on the ground and destroy the Caliphate, they are coming here.”

During the Q&A session at the Republican club, Graham said that the future of his candidacy depends on winning 3rd of 4th place in the New Hampshire primary in February. “If I win top 3rd or 4th, I will win South Carolina. But if I fall short, I will drop out and support some other candidate,” he announced. “All I need from you is a prayer and a check – a small prayer and a big check.”

The full interview with Lindsey Graham will be published on Friday

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.