I spoke with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) by phone just a few minutes ago. He said of the Boston bombers: “They were radicalized somewhere, somehow.” Regardless of whether they are international or “homegrown,” he said, “This is Exhibit A of why the homeland is the battlefield.” Recalling Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster, Graham noted that he took to the Senate floor specifically to object to Rand’s notion that “America is not the battlefield.” Graham said to me, “It’s a battlefield because the terrorists think it is.” Referring to Boston, he observed, “Here is what we’re up against,” and added, “It sure would be nice to have a drone up there [to track the suspect.]” He also slammed the president’s policy of “leading from behind and criminalizing war.” I’ll have more on my interview with Sen. Graham on Sunday.
Meanwhile, in a separate conversation this morning I spoke with Sen. Marco Rubio’s communications director Alex Conant, who rebuffed the idea that the Boston incident would disrupt immigration reform. He told me, “It’s a developing sttory. It’s way too early to draw political conclusions. People who are have already made up their minds [on immigration.]” In a written statement released later, Conant stated: “There are legitimate policy questions to ask and answer about what role our immigration system played, if any, in what happened. Regardless of the circumstances in Boston, immigration reform that strengthens our borders and gives us a better accounting of who is in our country and why will improve our national security. Americans will reject any attempt to tie the losers responsible for the attacks in Boston with the millions of law-abiding immigrants currently living in the US and those hoping to immigrate here in the future.” I will have more of this interview as well on Sunday, including the Rubio team’s view of how things are going with his immigration plan roll out.