Responding to Romney's suggestion in Monday's New Hampshire debate that the Afghan conflict was a war of independence, Graham told The Hill: "From the party's point of view, the biggest disaster would be to let Barack Obama become Ronald Reagan and our people become Jimmy Carter."
Romney said during the debate Monday: "Our troops shouldn't go off and try to fight a war of independence for another nation. Only the Afghanis can win Afghanistan's independence from the Taliban."
Graham voiced concern Tuesday that "no one articulated last night a strategic vision why it's important we get it right in Afghanistan, what happens to our country if we don't."
If fellow Republicans cede national security issues to Democrats, he said, "I'm not going to let that happen without some speaking out."
A Romney spokesman said, "Gov. Romney is pretty clearly opposed to President Obama's artificial deadlines. He will not make a withdrawal decision based on politics or economics but instead will base it on information from commanders in the field."