GOP Senator Concedes Fiscal Cliff Defeat: “Hats Off To The President”

Lindsey Graham says odds of deal are “exceedingly good,” but hints at another debt ceiling fight.

WASHINGTON — South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham conceded defeat in the fiscal cliff negotiations Sunday morning, saying “hats off to the president.”

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham complimented President Barack Obama for sticking to his guns in talks with congressional Republicans.

“He stood his ground. He’s going to get tax rate increases,” Graham said. “It will be a political victory for the president.”

“The president won. The president campaigned on raising rates and he’s going to get a rate increase,” he added.

But Graham hinted that Republicans will now put up a tougher fight on raising the debt ceiling in the coming weeks, saying potential agreements to avert the fiscal cliff do little to deal with the nation’s debt crisis.

“I hope we’ll have the courage of our convictions when it comes to raise the debt ceiling to fight for what we believe as Republicans,” he said.

Obama has said he will not negotiate over the borrowing limit.

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