Lindsey Graham is the kind of politician who’s never had made a statement he couldn’t walk back but his latest flip-flop when it comes to former current buddy Donald Trump is a stunning feat of self-serving PR acrobatics, even for him.
The Senator from South Carolina was one of the last allies to turn on Trump following the Jan. 6th insurrection, giving an impassioned speech in front of Congress that blamed the riots on his good friend and plead with former Vice President Mike Pence to do the right thing by ratifying the Biden vote. Here’s a video of Graham dragging his old pal just a couple of months ago, to jog your memory.
"Trump and I, we're had a hell of a journey … enough is enough … we've gotta end it" — Lindsey Graham pic.twitter.com/HoHXAt8Gtx
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 7, 2021
So, cool. Graham appears to value democracy. Except, now that the treasonous dust has settled, the Southern Senator is singing a different tune, telling Axios in a recent interview that, contrary to his earlier statements, he believes Trump might be the Republican party’s saving grace. Or at the very least — yet most crucial to Graham himself — the kind of fundraising unicorn that can keep an aging, out-of-touch white man from losing his cushy public service job.
“Donald Trump was my friend before the riot. And I’m trying to keep a relationship with him after the riot,” Graham told interviewer Jonathan Swan. “I still consider him a friend. What happened was a dark day in American history, and we’re going to move forward.”
He went on to detail how fervently he still believes in the kind of policies the Trump administration enacted — like building cages to house child immigrants, for instance.
“I want us to continue the policies that I think will make America strong. I believe the best way for the Republican Party to do that is with Trump, not without Trump,” Graham continued. “He could make the Republican Party something that nobody else I know can make it. He can make it bigger. He can make it stronger. He can make it more diverse. And he also could destroy it.”
We don’t know about those “diversity” claims, but we’re pretty sure the only thing Trump’s really good at is destroying stuff — the Republican Party, confidence in our democratic process, our desire to ever eat a Filet-O-Fish sandwich again. But really, the main reason for Graham’s sudden change of heart comes near the end of the interview clip Axios released and it has everything to do with Graham, who narrowly won his re-election bid in the most expensive Senate race in history, avoiding unemployment.
“There’s something about Trump. There’s a dark side and there’s some magic there,” Graham said. “What I’m tryin’ to do is just harness the magic.”