Gingrich Gets Afghanistan Rebuke From Graham

Senators Joe Lieberman, left, and Lindsey Graham, conduct a news conference.

Photograph by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Senators Joe Lieberman, left, and Lindsey Graham, conduct a news conference.

With only a few hours left before polls close in today’s two Southern contests, Newt Gingrich may not appreciate comments by fellow Republican southerner Lindsay Graham.

Graham told reporters that politicians are undercutting the forces on the ground when they push to speed up the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

“We’re war-weary, but I’m looking for a leader who won’t play into a war-weary public,” he said. Gingrich told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that it’s time for the U.S. to withdraw.

A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Graham pointed to Gingrich as one of the politicians who wants to be “the drum beat of withdrawal.”

“I want to be part of a Republican party that understands the strategic consequences of winning and losing in Afghanistan, and will back up a general who has earned the right to be backed up,” he said.

Graham was referring to U.S. Marine General John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

“This General Allen has a plan to withdraw and transition that should be supported by both parties,” he said. “I think it is a very doable plan, and the only way it will fail is to undercut the guy. That includes the Republicans.”

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