South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham turned a question about unemployment into a rambling attack on Hillary Clinton during Thursday's opening debate for the lower-ranked Republican presidential candidates.
"Elect me. I know the difference between being flat broke. Apparently she doesn't," Graham said of the former secretary of state. "In Hillary Clinton's world, after two terms in the White House where her husband was president, she said she was flat broke. Hillary, I'll show you flat broke."
Graham also boasted that he was "fluent in Clinton-speak," and attacked her for allegedly not being forthcoming with emails as part of a probe into the 2012 attack on an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
The Clinton campaign quickly struck back online, posting past statements from the senator praising both her and President Barack Obama, as seen below:
Sen. Graham talked about 'Clinton-speak' at #GOPdebate. #GOPtbt to some of his. http://t.co/A1Lo7Dca2E— The Briefing (@The Briefing)1438897539.0
Politico has also reported that emails Clinton released to the State Department contain references to Graham telling mutual friends "how much he likes [her]."
Graham's shot at Clinton came after a question from co-host Martha MacCallum regarding an increase in unemployment figures in the US.
"There's an increasing willingness in this country to accept assistance," she said, before asking, "How do you get Americans who are able to take the job instead of a handout?"
"She represents the third term of a failed presidency. I'm fluent in Clinton-speak, I've been dealing with this crowd for 20 years. You know, when Bill Clinton says, 'It depends what the meaning of is, is'? That means 'is' is whatever Bill wants it to mean. When Hillary Clinton tells you, 'I've given you all the emails you need,' that means she hasn't. So to the people who are dying for a better America, you'd better change course."
"I think Americans are dying to work. You just need to give them a chance," Graham said. "To all the Americans who want a better life, don't vote for Hillary Clinton -- you're not gonna get it. She's not gonna repeal Obamacare and replace it, I will. She's not gonna build the Keystone [XL] pipeline, I will. She's not gonna change Dodd-Frank, I will. Until you change the policies of Barack Obama, we're never gonna grow this economy."
Graham also voiced his support for placing mosques under surveillance, even though similar tactics by New York City police had to be abandoned following a lengthy court battle.
"Do we all agree that ISIL is not the JV team? If I have to monitor a mosque, I'll monitor a mosque," Graham said. If I have to take down a cyberwall, I'll take it [down.] If I have to send more American troops to protect us here, I'll do it. She will not. She has empowered a failed agenda."
Watch Graham's remarks, as posted online on Thursday, below.