Graham: Romney should talk more about Syria, Arab Spring

Graham, who is known as one of the biggest defense hawks in the Senate, said he was “disappointed” by the level of foreign policy discussion in both the presidential race and at the congressional level, and said elected officials in Washington would ultimately “regret” ignoring foreign policy.

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“In 2010, if you watched the ads being run, you wouldn’t know we were in Afghanistan or Iraq,” Graham said. “You wouldn’t know we’re at war, you wouldn’t know the Iranians are trying to get a nuclear weapon.

“The whole foreign policy debate in America has taken an unhealthy backseat,” he said.

Romney is facing an uphill climb on national security, an issue that has traditionally been a strength for Republicans. President Obama can tout the killing of Osama bin Laden, the end of the war in Iraq and the war in Libya as achievements, while Romney does not have much foreign policy experience.

Romney did attack Obama in May on Syria, coming out in favor of arming the rebels there after a massacre in which more than 100 people were killed. But Romney has said little since about the situation in the country.

Graham, along with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), has been vocal in calling for the Obama administration to arm the rebels and help provide air strikes to create a safe haven in Syria. The Obama administration says it’s opposed to further militarizing the situation there and does not support arming the opposition.

Asked Tuesday where his Republican colleagues stood on providing arms to the rebels, Graham hedged and said he did not know.

“It’s just so easy not to talk about,” Graham said.