Lindsey Graham at Olde Main

Lindsey Graham poses for photos with Iowa State students at his town hall meeting in Ames at Old Main located on Main Street. He talked for a short time and then answerd questions for the remainder of the time on Saturday, September 19.

Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham was in Ames on Saturday for a meet and greet, talking foreign policy, debt and education at Olde Main Brewing Company.

Graham's Ames stop was just one on a multi-day tour of the state following the second Republican debate.

Graham has struggled in polls since announcing his campaign in the summer, but has continued to push a hawkish foreign policy while traveling the country. 

“A weak America is a dangerous world,” Graham said.

Graham said he supported sending ground troops to the Middle East in an effort to abolish ISIS and other terrorist groups. Although the plan to defend the United States and create a safer world is a priority for Graham, he realizes that it can not be done without a strong economy to back it up.

Graham said he supports lower tax rates, and to encourage younger citizens to avoid retirement until they reach the age of 69.

“If I’m President we’re going to drink more,” Graham said about finding solutions to debt.

He said that the only way to lower debt in America is by working with both Republicans and Democrats to find the solutions that work best for working Americans.

When asked about Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, Graham said people find him entertaining, especially when he says the unexpected, but said he does not believe Trump is ready to be the president of the United States.

“We’ve seen what happens when we elected a law professor," he said. "What’s gonna happen if we elect a reality TV star?”

Graham was also asked questions concerning student loans and the problem with tuition-free colleges.

He said his plan to lower the interest rates, increase accessibility toward student funding and open the student loans to private sectors would reduce the burden on students.

Graham also rejects the idea of free college tuition for all students because he said it would contribute to the rising national debt. His overall goal is to improve the job market for recent college graduates.

Following his Ames appearance, Graham appeared in Des Moines at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's fall dinner along with several other presidential candidates.

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