POLITICS: Campaigns

Potential Lindsey Graham challenger would give Edward Snowden Medal of Honor

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,2014 Elections,Campaigns,NSA,Edward Snowden,Lindsey Graham,Justin Green

A potential challenger to South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says he would give Edward Snowden a Medal of Honor, end the drug war, embrace gays in the military, and be a "bulwark in the sense of all the liberties."

Thomas Ravenel, who resigned his office as state treasurer of South Carolina in 2007 after a felony cocaine charge, announced Monday that he intends to challenge Graham if the incumbent Republican wins his primary election in June.

In a March phone interview with the Washington Examiner before his decision, Ravenel highlighted many of his policy views, drawing a sharp contrast with Graham.

Ravenel said that unlike the senator, who has said he "hope[s] we'll chase [NSA leaker Edward Snowden] to the ends of the earth" to "bring him to justice," he would "give [Snowden] the Medal of Honor."

Ravenel lamented his personal experience with the "War on Drugs" as well.

"After having gone through what I've gone through [a ten-month prison sentence for felony cocaine distribution], I will be the most vigilant and ... staunch defender of all our rights," he said.

The potential Graham challenger likened his approach to drug legalization to the campaign to end Prohibition.

"You've got to remember the drug laws now are worse than alcohol prohibition in back then they only incarcerated the vendors and manufacturers of alcohol, not the mere users of it,” he said. “Today they're putting people in jail, the mere users of drugs."

He's also a fierce critic of Graham's position on gay and lesbian Americans serving in the military.

"Pound for pound, the Israeli army may be one of the best fighting forces on the face of the earth, but gays are openly in the military. I mean look at Alexander the Great, he was gay," said Ravenel.

"Lindsey Graham, on every single occasion, although he's supposed to be of the party of small government, he wants a government big enough to look into a person's heart and tell them who they can love? This is absurd," he added.

Ravenel is currently a star on the Bravo show "Southern Charm," which chronicles the lives of several wealthy singles in Charleston, S.C.

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