Lindsey Graham on Principles & Values

Republican Sr Senator; previously Representative (SC-3)


Big choice election: capitalism versus socialism

This is a big choice election between me and Mr. Harrison. Capitalism versus socialism. Conservative judges versus liberal judges. Law and order versus chaos. You know where I stand.
Source: 2020 South Carolina Senate debate (Rev.com transcript) , Oct 3, 2020

Impeachment: Don't need to hear a lot of witnesses

I am clearly made up my mind. I'm not trying to hide the fact that I have disdain for the accusations in the process. So I don't need any witnesses. The President can make a request to call witnesses. They can make a request or call Mike Pence and Pompeo and Joe Biden and Hunter Biden. I am ready to vote on the underlying articles. I don't really need to hear a lot of witnesses.
Source: CBS Face the Nation 2019 interview on impeaching Trump , Dec 15, 2019

1998: High crimes don't even have to be a crime

Republican Lindsey Graham is one of President Trump's most vocal defenders. He was one of the House managers who argued for convicting Clinton in his Senate trial, saying that "high crimes doesn't even have to be a crime. It's just when you start using your office and you're acting in a way that hurts people."
Source: Brian Naylor, NPR, on impeaching Trump , Dec 6, 2019

Trump cleaned up the mess that Obama left

[On military affairs]: "You're a very good commander and chief," Graham told Trump. The president was listening to his military commanders and the changes to the rules of engagement in the Middle East and Afghanistan were paying off.

This was Graham's pitch to Trump, "You can do something nobody else did. You're cleaning up the mess that Obama left you. You're doing a damn good job of cleaning it up. You're rebuilding the military. You're taking a wet blanket off the economy. You're really unshackling the military and the economy. God bless you for undoing the damage done in the last eight years. Where do you want to go? What do you want to be your legacy? Your legacy is not just undoing what he did, but it's putting your stamp on history."

Source: Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward, p.316 , Sep 10, 2019

Presidents need people that can tell them the truth

Trump seemed to love the adulation but said to Graham, "You're a middle of the road guy. I want you to be 100 percent Trump."

This resembled the loyalty pledge that then FBI director James Comey said that trump had asked for him. According to Comey, Trump had said, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty," during their now famous one on one Green Room dinner in the White House during the first week of Trump's presidency.

"Okay, what's the issue," Graham said, "and I'll tell you if I'm 100 percent for you." "You're like 82 percent," Trump said. "Well some days I'm 100, other days I'm zero." "I want you to be a 100 percent guy." "Why would you want me to tell you you're right when I think your wrong? What good does that do for me?" Presidents need people to tell them the truth as they see it. It's up to you to see if I'm full of shit."

Source: Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward, p.317 , Sep 10, 2019

Biden: Graham has best instincts in the Senate

[Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph] Dunford stopped by the office of Senator Lindsey Graham for a private talk. Probably few in the Senate worked harder on military matters than Graham. A bachelor and colonel in the Air Force reserve, he seemed always on duty. He had built a vast bipartisan network in Washington . Former Vice President Joe Biden, who had served 36 years in the Senate, said that Graham had the best instincts of anyone in the upper chamber.
Source: Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward, p.99 , Sep 10, 2019

Now supports Trump, but called him "unfit for office"

The Democratic hopefuls [for Senate] are seeking to knock off Graham, the third term senator from the Upstate. Next year's election could be an intriguing affair for Graham, who once was a rival of President Donald Trump--he, at one point, said Trump was "unfit for office" and a "race-baiting, xenophobic bigot"--but has increasingly enjoyed a cozy political relationship with the commander-in-chief.
Source: Post and Courier coverage of impeaching Trump , May 31, 2019

Investigate Steele dossier and how FBI handled it

Q: You suggested a possible conflict-of-interest between Fusion GPS staff and Mr. Steele? And you paint a picture of a lawless FBI dealing with the Steele dossier?

GRAHAM: Mr. Steele was on the payroll of Fusion GPS, who was being paid by the Democratic Party to do opposition research on Donald Trump. That while he was working with the FBI, he was shopping this dossier all over the world. That's not what an informant should do. I want a special counsel to look at not only how Mr. Steele conducted himself, what the FBI did with the dossier. Somebody needs to look. If you believe Robert Mueller should be looking at the Trump campaign, count me in. But if you ignore all this stuff, you're blind.

Q: Do you want Mr. Steele extradited?

GRAHAM: Well, he was asked to appear before our committee. Come in and tell us what you did. He was sued for libel based on the dossier. Mr. Comey told President Trump, "Here's this dossier. It's unverified." The system doesn't work that way.

Source: Meet the Press 2018 interviews on impeaching Trump TK , Jan 7, 2018

I did not vote for Trump for President in 2016

Graham has repeatedly denounced Trump and his bad temperament, inability to lead, and poor judgment. He believes that Trump is the single reason why conservatives are beginning to divide as well as the GOP. It would not be out of the question for him to run [in the 2020 GOP primary against Trump] and, in his mind, restore the GOP back to what it should be. Graham ran for president in 2016 and his campaign did not amount to much, often spending time in the "early debate" during the GOP debates. Graham running for president again is a likely possibility as many anti-Trump donors will be looking for candidates to support in 2020, and Graham could effectively fill that void. Graham did not vote for Trump in 2016 and with his moderate conservatism, he could pose as a viable alternative to Trump for Republicans still wary about Trump. The ultimate question for Graham is: do Republican voters want a change after Trump's four years?
Source: Evonews.com on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Jul 17, 2017

America is already great; make America strong again

America is great. I intend to make America strong again. I'm going to be the champion of the middle class, where I came from. If you make me your president, our best days are ahead. I'm ready to be commander- in-chief, ladies and gentlemen, on day one. I intend to win a war that we cannot afford to lose.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Experienced leader for libertarians,vegetarians, you name it

Q: In this election season, do Republican voters see your service in government as a liability and not an asset?

GRAHAM: Well, what I hope Republican voters, libertarian, vegetarians, Democrats, you name it, will look for somebody to lead us in a new direction, domestically, but particularly on the foreign policy front. President Obama is making a mess of the world. What I'm trying to tell you here tonight, that Syria is hell on Earth. I've been there 35 times to Iraq and Afghanistan. I am ready to be commander-in-chief on day one. I've been in the military 33 years, 140 days on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am so ready to get on with winning a war that we can't afford to lose. I hope you believe that experience matters. When you vote for commander-in-chief, they are stuck with your choice. We've had one novice being commander-in- chief. Let's don't replace one novice with another.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Reagan drank with opponents; let's drink more like that

Q: Senator Graham has praised Secretary of State Clinton as a great choice to be the secretary of state. Can anyone from inside of Washington win this election cycle, having said nice things that way?

JINDAL: No. And they shouldn't win this election cycle. We have got the majority; what good has it done us? They are not willing to stand up to fight for the issues that count.

GRAHAM: Ronald Reagan did a couple of really big things that we should all remember. He sat down with Tip O'Neill, the most liberal guy in the entire House. They started drinking together. That's the first thing I'm going to do as president. We're going to drink more. And what did these two great Irishmen do? They found a way to save Social Security from bankruptcy by adjusting the age of retirement from 65 to 67. So, yes, I will say nice things at times about Democrats. Yes, I will work them.

I will put the country ahead of party. Absolutely I want to work with them.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

My dad ran a pool room; I'm not elite

I've been called a lot of things but never elite before. My dad owned a liquor store, a bar and a poolroom. So only in America can you go from the back of a liquor store to being an elite.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Supported removal of battle flag following shooting

Q: Why did it take nine deaths [at an attack on an AME church] to change your mind on flying the Confederate flag at the capitol?

A: If you'd asked me the day before the attack, I would've said, "The compromise worked," we took the flag off the top of the dome, moved it by the war memorial, built an African American monument, that worked for most South Carolinians. But after the shooting, it didn't work. My state will never be able to move forward after this shooting if we don't take the flag down. The people at the AME church, the families of the victims changed everything by their grace, by their love, by their forgiveness, making it impossible for a guy like me to say, "Keep the flag up."

Q: When you see the flag now, do you see a symbol of hate or heritage?

A: After this shooting, and after the call for it to be taken down by the families of the victims, I see it as a road block to the future of my state. I see it being in a museum, where people can look at it any way they want.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 28, 2015

Voted with Republican Party 87.5% of 312 votes.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), was scored by the Washington Post on the percentage of votes on which a lawmaker agrees with the position taken by a majority of his or her party members. The scores do not include missed votes. Their summary:
Voted with Republican Party 87.5% of 312 votes.
Overall, Democrats voted with their party 88.4% of the time, and Republicans voted with their party 81.7% of the time (votes Jan. 8 through Sept. 8, 2007).
Source: Washington Post, "Congress Votes Database" on 2008 election , Sep 8, 2007

Voted YES on confirming of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. In her opening statement, Judge Sotomayor pledged a "fidelity to the law:"
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law--it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination; Bill PN506 ; vote number 2009-S262 on Aug 6, 2009

Voted YES on confirming Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice.

Vote on the Nomination -- a YES vote would to confirm Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of New Jersey, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Reference: Alito Nomination; Bill PN 1059 ; vote number 2006-002 on Jan 31, 2006

Voted YES on confirming John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Vote on the Nomination (Confirmation John G. Roberts, Jr., of Maryland, to be Chief Justice of the United States )
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination of John Roberts; Bill PN 801 ; vote number 2005-245 on Sep 27, 2005

Religious affiliation: Southern Baptist.

Graham : religious affiliation:

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The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.

Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a personís membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. Thereís no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.

Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH1 on Nov 7, 2000

Certify 2020 Presidential election as fully & fairly counted.

Graham voted NAY blocking certification of the Electoral vote

Explanation of 1/6/21 Electoral Certification, by Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner:Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar led an objection to counting Electoral College votes from the state of Arizona, the first formal objection to state results in a series of moves that will delay the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election over President Trump. Cruz is advocating for an `emergency 10-day audit` of election returns in disputed states. The usually ceremonial joint session of Congress that convenes to count and accept Electoral College votes will be put on hold as the House and Senate separately debate the objection.