Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamProgressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema GOP senators applaud Biden for global vaccine donation plans Lindsey Graham: Dismissal of Wuhan lab leak theory cost Trump 2020 election MORE (R-S.C.) said Sunday that it was "inappropriate" for President Obama to inject himself into the Wisconsin budget debate and protests.

"I think the president should be focused on what we're doing in Washington," Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press."


"When the president talks about Wisconsin I think that really is inappropriate," he said. "The governor of Wisconsin is doing what he campaigned on ... there was an election on his proposals and he won."

Obama said last week that the collective bargaining reform proposal "seems like more of an assault on unions." His campaign arm Organizing for America has also helped coordinate protests in Wisconsin.

Graham said that Gov. Scott Walker (R) was open about his plans to reform collective bargaining while campaigning and now should be allowed to fulfill that mandate. "He didn't take anybody by surprise," he said.

Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Trump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Overnight Defense: Pentagon details military construction projects getting .2B restored from wall funds | Biden chooses former commander to lead Navy | Bill seeks to boost visa program for Afghans who helped US MORE (D-Ill.), though, said that assuming the Wisconsin standoff was about budget austerity was like believeing that United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez was just trying to wrangle a few more pennies per pound on grapes.

"It goes way beyond this budget issue," Durbin said. "...He's setting out to break a union."

Durbin said it was a historic moment and cautioned Wisconsin Republicans to "not destroy decades of work to establish the rights of workers to speak for themselves."