GOP group touts Graham’s past praise of Biden, criticism of Trump in new ad

A GOP group released a new ad Friday showing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) previously praising former Vice President Joe Biden (D) and calling out President Trump.

The ad, released by the coalition Republican Voters Against Trump, begins with footage of Graham appearing on CNN in 2015. Graham, who was running for president at the time, asked in the clip, “What is Donald Trump’s campaign about?” 

“He’s a race baiting, xenophobic religious bigot,” Graham says in the clip, adding, “You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to Hell.”

The ad then shows Graham praising Biden in an interview with HuffPost in 2015.

“If you can’t admire Joe Biden as a person, you’ve got a problem. You need to do some self-evaluation, ‘cause, what’s not to like?” Graham says, calling Biden “as good a man as God ever created.”

“He’s said some of the most incredibly heartfelt things that anybody could ever say to me. He’s the nicest person I think I’ve ever met in politics,” Graham says.

The ad also uses an audio clip of Graham telling CNN in 2015 that the GOP primary was a “defining moment for the future of the Republican Party” and warning that Republicans would lose the “moral authority” to govern if they did not reject Trump. 

The ad ends with an image of Trump holding up a bible during a photo opportunity outside St John’s Church earlier this month. Trump ordered military to clear the streets around the White House so he could walk to the church. Protesters were forcibly cleared by federal law enforcement and National Guardsmen. 

The ad is set to run on Fox News in Charlotte, N.C., and Greenville, S.C. It will also air on Fox News in Washington, D.C., according to Republican Voters Against Trump. 

Although the ad contains footage of Graham’s former criticism of then-candidate Trump, Graham has become one of the president’s closest allies on Capitol Hill.

Trump endorsed Graham on Sunday ahead of his Tuesday GOP primary, which he won handily among Republican voters. Graham was beating three other GOP candidates with 81 percent of the vote with less than 1 percent of precincts reporting.

“Senator @LindseyGrahamSC is a good friend and strong voice for the people of South Carolina,” Trump posted. “He’s helped us confirm GREAT Judges, rebuild the Military, and keep our Country SAFE. Strong on Life and our Vets. Lindsey has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” Trump tweeted Sunday.  

Graham will face off against Democrat Jaime Harrison in the state’s November general election. 

Tags 2020 presidential election Donald Trump Joe Biden Lindsey Graham South Carolina

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