Sin Lindsey Graham (R-SC) defended his decision to go with former President Donald Trump in 2024, arguing that he is a known quantity with “unfinished business.”
Graham enthusiastically endorsed Trump during the former president’s first major rally of the year in Graham’s home state of South Carolina over the weekend. While he praised many of Trump’s potential rivals in 2024, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Graham said they likely wouldn’t be able to pull off what Trump did .
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“I’m rooting for Donald Trump because I know what he’s going to get. We need someone who on day one can take this country back. That can secure our border and bring order out of chaos. Someone who the Russians and the Chinese fear. Someone who can take the fight to the terrorists,” Graham told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Throughout the 2016 election cycle and the early days of the Trump administration, Graham served as Trump’s bitter nemesis, often citing his grievances with Trump’s temper. But Graham eventually warmed to him over time. At least two prominent Republicans from his home state, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and former Gov. Nikki Haley (R), are rumored to be running for president in 2024.
“To all these people who are very talented, I don’t think you can do what he did and I want him to have another chance. Unfinished business,” Graham continued.
So far, no major Republican challenger has declared to run against Trump. The former president announced his 2024 campaign last November, but many prominent Republicans, including most Republican National Committee officials, have refrained from endorsing him amid a likely primary challenge. Trump lost the 2020 general election, but has claimed the election was “stolen” from him — claims Graham publicly questioned after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Former President Donald Trump listens as Sen. Lindsey Graham, RSC, speaks at a campaign event at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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Still, Graham pointed to Trump’s record of achieving diplomatic breakthroughs with the Abraham Accords and blocking increased military spending by NATO allies as some of the many reasons he supports him.
“[Trump] it is the best solution to the problems we face, not because of the flaws of others, but because of what I know it can do. And I say to your listeners right now when you hear ‘I like Trump’s policies, but I’m ready for somebody new’: there are no Trump policies without Donald Trump,” Graham added, echoing a line he delivered during Trump’s rally over the weekend.