When I saw the headline from an interview on ABC News this morning, I’ll confess that I did a double take. Lindsey Graham to ‘Re-Evaluate’ Supporting Donald Trump If Nominated.
My initial response was to think, Wait a minute. Graham might support Trump? But as it turns out, it’s just the opposite. If Trump is the eventual nominee (as more and more establishment personalities are coming around to considering as at least a possibility) it seems that Graham was previously willing to support him. But after Saturday night’s debate, the Senator may be ready to defect.
A prominent U.S. senator from South Carolina said this morning he needs to “re-evaluate” whether he would support Donald Trump as the GOP presidential nominee after comments the real estate mogul made about George W. Bush’s actions in connection to the 9/11 terror attacks.
“I’ve got to really re-evaluate that after what he said about George W. Bush,” he said. “There’s just the kooky people in the world; the mainstream Democratic party opposition to Bush did not go where Donald Trump went,” Sen. Lindsey Graham told “Good Morning America” today.
Graham, who has previously said he will supported whoever is nominated, said today he will “have to sit down and think about what it means to have somebody running as the nominee of the Republican Party to accuse the past president of willfully lying about the facts and circumstances of Iraq, and being responsible for 9/11.”
“That’s something that really only comes from the kook part of America,” he added.
You can watch the video of the interview at the link just to keep things in context. (Was going to embed it here, but it’s autoplay.)
I had to go Google Graham’s previous comments, but the story is accurate. Lindsey has said in the past that he would support the eventual nominee, even if it was Donald Trump. (Of course, that was always couched with follow-up comments about how that wasn’t going to happen, Trump isn’t a serious candidate, yada yada yada.) But now he’s at least implying that he’ll run off the ranch entirely if the unwashed masses continue down the warpath against the establishment and actually send The Donald to Cleveland with enough delegates to win on the first round. (And he’ll need every last one of them to avoid any last minute hijinks.)
I’m not buying it, though, and I’ll tell you why. This isn’t the first rodeo for most of us observing this election, and while the temperatures may be running a bit hotter than usual, they follow a similar pattern every time. In fact, I’ve seen the same pattern play out here among our readers. During the heat of the campaign, people pick out their own favorites and defend them vigorously, as they should. Sometimes it gets to the point where old friends become enemies and harsh words are spoken. Pledges are made that votes will never be cast in favor of Candidate X if Candidate Y fails to secure the nomination. But in the end, when it comes time to get ready for the general election, old friendships generally win over and hurt feelings from past arguments are put aside. I lost count of the number of people who said they would never vote for Romney last time, and there’s a fair chance that a number of them stayed home and didn’t. But those arguing about it slowly got around to shaking hands and being friends again, realizing that the common enemy was a greater threat than the skirmish of the day.
Perhaps Lindsey Graham really won’t endorse Trump if he gets the nomination. But in the quiet of the voting booth I’m betting he’ll still pull the lever. And when the dust settles he won’t be running off to join the Democrats after all these years.