The problem with being a political chameleon is no one knows your true colors. Take U.S. senator Lindsey Graham, who is less than a week removed from a decidedly underwhelming win in the 2020 Republican primary for the seat he has held since January 2003.
Graham is a chronic political shapeshifter whose greatest reinvention was his evolution in late 2017 from a rabid #NeverTrump Republican into one of U.S. president Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters.
Well … sort of.
“Graham masterfully exploited the Kavanaugh confirmation drama to rebrand himself with conservatives – even though it was his own sellout on the most critical GOP issue of them all (abortion) that forced Trump to nominate the middling judge in the first place,” we noted last week.
This week, a group called Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT) has released a new television advertisement exposing Graham’s ongoing flip-floppery.
“I want to talk to the Trump supporters for a minute” Graham says in the 60-second spot, which begins with clips from an interview the fiscally liberal “Republican” gave CNN in December 2015.
“What is Donald Trump’s campaign about? He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot,” Graham continued. “You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.”
(Click to view)
(Via: Republican Voters Against Trump)
After recalling Graham’s excoriation of then-candidate Trump, the ad cuts to an emotional interview he gave The Huffington Post in July of that same year. In that exchange, Graham extolled the integrity of then-vice president Joe Biden following the death of Biden’s son, Beau Biden.
“The bottom line is, if you can’t admire Joe Biden as a person … you’ve got a problem,” Graham said, fighting back tears. “You need to do some self-evaluation.”
“What’s not to like?” Graham continued, referring to the future Democratic nominee. “He’s the nicest person I think I’ve ever met in politics. He is as good a man as God ever created.”
In fairness to Graham, this ad callously exploits what was obviously a very emotional moment from five years ago – one in which the senator was discussing his personal friendship with Biden just days after the latter lost his son.
Still, the optics are awful for Graham … who needs to rally the Republican base behind him this fall as he faces a tougher-than-expected general election fight from Democrat Jaime Harrison, a former state party chairman who has attracted significant national support (and raised some serious cash) in his bid to unseat the 64-year-old Central, S.C. native.
The optics are also awful for Trump … who must explain why one of his “allies” is bashing him and at the same time praising his Democratic rival.
We wouldn’t go that far, but the ad is incredibly effective … as evidenced by the fact it has received more than 1.5 million views in less than three days on YouTube. According to reporter Sean Langlois of MarketWatch, RVAT is set to run the spot in several states on Fox News over the next few weeks.
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