Liberal U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has a mountain of special interest money, no big-name opponent and is assembling a center-left army of grassroots supporters that appears poised to take over the S.C. Republican Party from the left.
Add the support he’s getting from leading establishment “Republicans” like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Graham’s reelection to the U.S. Senate – while far from being a certainty – looks probable.
But just because Graham so far appears to be coasting through what should be a contentious primary fight doesn’t mean he’s getting support from top politicians in his home state.
During an appearance on CNN’s Crossfire this week, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott – whose voting record is far more fiscally conservative and pro-free market than Graham’s – was asked point blank whether he was backing Graham’s reelection bid.
What did he say?
“As you three have just heard recently, I am up for re-election next year myself,” Scott said. “I’m going to allow for all the other folks on the ballot to represent themselves very well. I’m going to continue to work hard for my election.”
Given another chance to answer the question with a simple “yes,” “no” or “maybe,” Scott again demurred.
“I certainly am going to work very hard for Tim Scott’s re-election,” he said. “Gotta win first.”
Fiscal conservatives were thrilled with Scott’s refusal to endorse Graham. Meanwhile South Carolina Democrats – who have been privately backing Graham – actually put out a press release bashing Scott for his non-endorsement.
Frankly, we weren’t happy with Scott’s answer, either. Given Graham’s record of supporting tax hikes, unnecessary military entanglements and invasions of our personal liberty there is only one correct answer to the question “are you endorsing Lindsey Graham?”
That answer? “Hell no.”