Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Mark Sanford discuss same sex marriage, ISIS

Published: Oct. 8, 2014 at 10:10 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 8, 2014 at 10:21 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Sen. Lindsey Graham thanked his campaign volunteers at a republican headquarter in Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday. He got some extra support from Rep. Mark Sanford who showed up and joked he was there for the free Chick-Fil-A lunch. Both politicians took time to weigh in on hot topics around the country, starting with gay marriage.

Wednesday morning, Charleston County Probate Court announced it will begin accepting and issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples. This comes on the heels of Monday's announcement by the United States Supreme Court that they will not listen to appeals from five states seeking to uphold bans on same-sex marriage.

Sen. Graham, who is against same sex marriage, said until the Supreme Court makes a decision on those cases, the country is left in a "legal no-man's land."

"We have chaos right now. So, I hope the Supreme Court will take one of these cases and give us a definitive answer," said Graham. "I believe marriage should be defined by the people as a whole through their elected representatives and not a bunch of unelected judges ."

Graham and Sanford agree marriage should be defined by each state.

"I think ultimately it needs to be decided at the state level, which is where we've had that decision made for about 200 years," said Rep. Sanford.

Sanford added regardless of what side of the issue one is on, everyone should come together and push for a decision to made on who is calling the shots: federal or state.

The politicians were seemingly on the same page about same-sex marriage, but had differing opinions on what needs to be done to defeat ISIS, the Islamic extremists in the Middle East.

Sen. Graham said ISIS needs to be defeated and everyday they are not, Americans are in more danger.

"Every day that goes by that they're not diminished is a bad day for America," said Graham.

He said President Obama's strategy is attacking by air has not been effective.

"To destroy ISIL, you need a ground component and we're going to have to be part of that," said Graham. "Nobody's going on the ground unless we go with them because they don't have the capability."

Graham said he feels around 10,000 American troops need to be in Iraq and Syria to help bring down ISIS. Specifically, he said he think special forces need to be there to kill the ISIS leaders, direct air strikes and help the Arab armies maneuver on the ground.

Rep. Sanford said he's still not sure he agrees American troops need to be there:

"A lot of folks that I talk to are really uneasy about committing more troops back into that part of the world. We've had a ten-year experiment, we've seen more than 5,000 american soldiers killed, we've seen more than 50,000 come back with life altering wounds. We've spent more than a trillion dollars in that part of the world, with frankly very little in the way of outcome - if you look at the instability that exists right now."

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