Sen. Lindsey Graham: Trump 'Hurting His Chances' at Reelection by Fixating on 2020 Loss
03:44 GMT 14.02.2022 (Updated: 13:28 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Manuel Balce CenetaSen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks to reporters during a news conference at the Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, in Washington
© AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta
Earlier this month, former US President Donald Trump chastised Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), referring to his longtime ally as a 'Republican in Name Only' (RINO) after the US lawmaker openly disagreed with him on whether a presidential pardon should be extended to Trump supporters prosecuted for participating in the January 6, 2021, insurrection.
Although the Republican nomination is reportedly Donald Trump's "for the taking" in 2024, the former US president should consider adopting talking points that aren't related to his 2020 loss to President Joe Biden, Sen. Lindsey Graham declared, during a Sunday appearance on ABC's "This Week."
"I am not contesting the 2020 election," Graham said, qualifying that there are election reforms that need to happen. "The 2020 election is over for me."
"Donald Trump is the most consequential Republican in the Republican Party today," Graham told George Stephanopoulos. "He has a great chance of being president again in 2024, he’ll start comparing what he did as president versus what's going on now, and how to fix the mess we’re in."
Trump would be placing himself in a losing position if he "looks backward," the Senate Republican said.
"For [Trump] to win in 2024, he's gotta talk about the future ... if he continues to talk about the 2020 election, I think it hurts his cause and quite frankly hurts the Republican Party" -- Lindsey Graham on ABC pic.twitter.com/1fRrOxvjX3— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 13, 2022
"If he continues to talk about the 2020 election, I think it hurts his cause and quite frankly, hurts the Republican Party," Graham said.
While Graham and Trump have consistently had each others' back in recent election cycles, the former's once-staunch support for the latter has waned since the deadly January 6, 2021, storming of the US Capitol building.
© AP Photo / Patrick SemanskyIn this Feb. 28, 2020 file photo, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, stands onstage with President Donald Trump during a campaign rally, in North Charleston, S.C. Jaime Harrison has raised more money than his Republican opponent, Sen. Lindsey Graham, two quarters in a row.
In this Feb. 28, 2020 file photo, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, stands onstage with President Donald Trump during a campaign rally, in North Charleston, S.C. Jaime Harrison has raised more money than his Republican opponent, Sen. Lindsey Graham, two quarters in a row.
© AP Photo / Patrick Semansky
Speaking from the Senate Floor, Graham delivered a fiery speech in which he told his Republican colleagues to "count me out" in matters related to delaying the election.
"If you’re a conservative, this is the most offensive concept in the world, that a single person could disenfranchise 155 million people," Graham said at the time, concluding that Biden and Harris were "lawfully elected."
Despite claiming in an interview that "he’d never been so humiliated and embarrassed for the country" after the January 6 insurrection, Graham traveled to Florida one month later to visit Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
The senator may not be caught playing a round of golf with Trump, but it appears that Graham and the one-term GOP president have at least a working relationship.