Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he misses the era of former President George W. Bush during the GOP undercard presidential debate on Dec. 15 (video below).
The candidate had praise for the former president and a lot of criticism for current President Barack Obama and rival candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
While the majority of GOP presidential candidates, save for Bush’s brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, have distanced themselves from the legacy of the former president -- who exited the White House with an historically low 22 percent approval rating -- Graham said he misses the Bush administration, Yahoo Politics reports.
Graham, who has called for U.S. soldiers to be deployed to defeat ISIS in Syria, praised “the surge” of troops deployed to Iraq during Bush’s presidency.
“The surge worked!” Graham said. “It worked! George W. Bush made mistakes, but he did adjust. I blame Obama for [ISIS] not Bush.”
Graham then pounded his podium to add emphasis.
“I miss George W. Bush!” the South Carolina senator exclaimed. “I wish he were president right now! We wouldn’t be in this mess!”
While Graham stood up for the former president, he had some memorable barbs for his competitors.
Criticizing Cruz's strategy of allowing Syrian President Bashar Assad to stay in power, Graham went so far as to bring up Cruz’s favorite film, “The Princess Bride,” USA Today reports.
“Ted, getting in bed with Iran and Russia to save Assad is inconceivable,” joked Graham, referencing one of the film’s famous lines. “Princess Buttercup would not like this.”
Graham also took aim at GOP front-runner Donald Trump, criticizing the business mogul’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S., CNN reports.
"To all of our Muslim friends throughout the world like the king of Jordan and the president of Egypt, I am sorry,” Graham said. “He does not represent us.”
The senator added that if Trump were to become president, “[ISIS] would be dancing in the streets, they just don’t believe in dancing.”