Graham says Obama too weak a negotiator

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhite House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts GOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death MORE (R-S.C.) said Sunday that President Obama was not qualified to deal with Iran and its nuclear arms ambitions.

Graham claimed U.S. allies in the Middle East do not trust Obama with their interests, and that Iran itself neither fears nor respects the president. Graham added that Obama has too much "baggage," and said new blood is necessary for protecting America’s national security.


“Obama is a flawed negotiator,” Graham said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“I don’t want a war, but I also don’t want to give Iran the tools to attack the Middle East and one day us,” he continued. “I believe there is a better deal.”

Graham, a likely 2016 GOP presidential hopeful, said that Thursday’s tentative agreement with Iran’s government empowered its leadership in its quest for atomic bombs.

Graham said he doesn't “buy ... for one minute" that the White House had talked Iran into the best deal for the U.S.

“It’s the best deal Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump on his 'chosen one' remark: 'It was sarcasm' Kentucky basketball coach praises Obama after golf round: 'He is a really serious golfer' Biden evokes 1968, asks voters to imagine if Obama had been assassinated MORE could get,” he concluded. “Does anyone really believe that the Iranians will take the billions of dollars we give them and build hospitals and schools?”

Obama said on Saturday that he expects a “robust debate” over the draft agreement’s details. Graham replied that Congress should serve as a major participant in such a process.

“I insist Congress review the deal, debate on it and vote on it before it becomes final,” he said.

Thursday’s outline serves a framework for reaching a final deal by the June 30 deadline. Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryKentucky basketball coach praises Obama after golf round: 'He is a really serious golfer' The enemy of my enemy is my friend — an alliance that may save the Middle East Democratic governors fizzle in presidential race MORE spearheaded ongoing U.S. negotiation efforts in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia aided U.S. diplomats during the talks. The so-called P5+1 nations hope Iran will slow or stop its nuclear arms research in exchange for economic sanctions relief.

Iran has promised it will allow more frequent nuclear inspections and limits on its centrifuge and uranium stockpiles as part of the initial deal.

The U.S. and its allies, meanwhile, have vowed they will gradually phase out sanctions during a yearlong halt on Iran’s breakout period for building a nuclear weapon.