What they heard was an often lively exchange between Graham and the audience that focused on taxes, the national debt, immigration, the bank bailouts, energy policy, and Iraq and Afghanistan.

On immigration, one issue where Graham’s willingness to compromise has angered some conservatives, Graham said it won’t be possible to get enough Senate votes on a bill that would jail or deport the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants.

He told one questioner that his solution is not going to work, but the questioner replied, “You haven’t heard my solution.”

K.C. Meyer, a Mount Pleasant engineer, said he is considering running against Graham in 2014. “I’m just hearing the same old stuff,” he said of Graham’s performance. “I just wish I heard a little more fight there.”