|Senior U.S. Senator from South Carolina|
From: January 7, 2003 – present
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
|Former U.S. Representative from South Carolina's 3rd Congressional District|
From: January 4, 1995 – January 3, 2003
|Successor||J. Gresham Barrett|
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
|Service Years|| 1982-2015|
Lindsey Olin Graham, born July 9, 1955 (age 66), is the senior United States Senator from the state of South Carolina. He is a member of the Republican Party and a liberal RINO on some issues. On December 21, 2015, he withdrew his bid for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination. Despite continuing to hold to his RINO positions, he later became more supportive of conservative President Donald Trump, particularly as he faced a reelection against a conservative primary challenger in 2020 and a heavily-funded Democrat in the general election, Jaime Harrison.
A native South Carolinian, Graham grew up in Central, graduated from D.W. Daniel High School, and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Graham logged six-and-a-half years of service on active duty as an Air Force lawyer. From 1984–1988, he was assigned overseas and served at Rhein Mein Air Force Base in Germany. Upon leaving the active-duty Air Force in 1989, Graham joined the South Carolina Air National Guard where he served until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994. During the first Gulf War, Graham was called to active duty and served state-side at McEntire Air National Guard Base as Staff Judge Advocate where he prepared members for deployment to the Gulf region. His duties included briefing pilots on the law of armed conflict, preparing legal documents for deploying troops, and providing legal services for family members of the South Carolina Air National Guard. He received a commendation medal for his service at McEntire.
Since 1995, Graham has continued to serve his country in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and is the only U.S. Senator currently serving in the Guard or Reserves. He is a colonel and is assigned as a Senior Instructor at the Air Force JAG School.
Graham served in Iraq as a reservist on active duty for short periods during April and two weeks in August 2007, where he worked on detainee and rule-of-law issues. That makes him the only Iraq war veteran serving in the United States Senate.
In 1988, Graham went into private law practice and in 1992 was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. In 1994, he became the first Republican to represent South Carolina's Third Congressional District in Washington since 1877. He quickly became powerful as a member of the Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton in 1998. Graham opposed some articles, but vigorously supported others. In January and February 1999, after two impeachment articles had been passed by the full House, he was one of the managers who brought the House's case to Clinton's trial in the Senate. Though the Senate did not convict Clinton, Graham became nationally known. Lindsey Graham was elected to the Senate in 2002, winning 54% of the vote.
During the Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Judge Samuel Alito for a seat on the United States Supreme Court, Graham sparked controversy. He asked Alito, "Are you really a closet bigot?" Alito answered "I'm not any kind of a bigot, I'm not." and Graham continued his statement by expressing his opinion that Alito definitely was not a bigot. Alito's wife cried and left the hearing briefly.
On June 11, 2017, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) was interviewed on CBS Face the Nation and said that President Trump's use on Twitter "feeds that lynch mob [mentality in the press]. You're your own worst enemy here, Mr. President. Knock it off."
You can't criticize the Koran
Graham said, "I wish we could find a way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war. During World War II, we had limits on what you could say if it would inspire the enemy. So, burning a Koran is a terrible thing but it doesn't justify killing someone. Burning a Bible would be a terrible thing but it doesn't justify murder. Having said that, anytime we can push back here in America against actions like this that put our troops at risk we should do it, and I look forward to working with Senators Kerry, and Reid, and others to condemn this, condemn violence all over the world based on the name of religion. But General Petreaus understand better than anybody else in America what happens when something like this is done in our country and he was right to condemn it and I think Congress would be right to reinforce what General Petreaus said."
Doug Mataconis of Outside the Beltway (April 3, 2011 Post - Lindsey Graham On Koran Burning: “Freedom Of Speech Is A Great Idea But We’re In A War.”) states: "Here’s your answer Senator. No, you don’t need to hold hearings and you don’t need to be looking into ways to limit the free speech rights of American citizens because of the insane reaction of people thousands of miles away who were obviously ginned up by demagogues. War or not, Terry Jones had every right to do what he did."
Immigration & Gang of Eight
Graham has been an adamant supporter of mass immigration, and his statements on immigration indicate that he puts a greater priority on immigrants than American citizens. He supported "comprehensive immigration reform" and of S. 2611, the McCain-Kennedy Bill of 2006 as well as the equally hotly debated S. 1348 of 2007, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007. Despite Graham's support, the bill failed on a key Senate vote on June 28, 2007. Graham's views on immigration have lead criticisms for conservatives. Popular radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has referred to him as Senator "Grahamnesty."
Smears against Ted Cruz
Lindsey Graham is known as a GOP establishment token for attacking of Ted Cruz, saying: "If you kill Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, in the trials in the Senate, nobody can convict you." Note that this is the very same person who claims to be "pro-life" yet supports abortion in cases of rape, saying: "I'm going to leave that to the family, to the mother."
Graham, an opponent of parental choice in vaccination, has opposed Sen. Rand Paul's position that the matter should be voluntary, making implications against individual rights to choose not to vaccinate. In addition, despite criticizing one of Paul's statements out of a lack of "scientific basis", Graham said that "every American" should vaccinate their children unless there's a scientific basis that argues against such.
- Official Website
- 2016 presidential campaign website
- Graham on the issues
- ""You're your own worst enemy here, Mr. President," Graham tells Trump", CBS News, June 11, 2017. Retrieved on June 15, 2017.
- Shaw, Adam (September 28, 2018). Lindsey Graham’s Kavanaugh moment earns conservative praise. Fox News. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
- Gonzalez, Oriana (October 20, 2020). Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks. Axios. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
- Doug Mataconis of Outside the Beltway, Lindsey Graham On Koran Burning: "Freedom Of Speech Is A Great Idea But We’re In A War.", April 3, 2011 Post: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/lindsay-graham-on-koran-burning-freedom-of-speech-is-a-great-idea-but-were-in-a-war Accessed December 4, 2014
- Munro, Neil (January 12, 2018). Lindsey Graham to Americans: Your Country Belongs to the World. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- “Gang of 8” Member Graham Says “We’ve Got a Deal.”
- All of the Terrible Things Lindsey Graham Has Said About Ted Cruz, Whom He Just Endorsed
- Lindsey Graham on abortion after rape: ‘I’m going to leave that to the family’
- Two references:
- Graham rebukes Paul on vaccines