Graham on Biden controversy: 'Go ask Barack Obama if he shares these concerns'

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: Commerce extends Huawei waiver | Senate Dems unveil privacy bill priorities | House funding measure extends surveillance program | Trump to tour Apple factory | GOP bill would restrict US data going to China Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran Cruz, Graham and Cheney call on Trump to end all nuclear waivers for Iran MORE (R-S.C.) reacted to the controversy surrounding former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Democrats release two new transcripts ahead of next public impeachment hearings Press: Ukraine's not the only outrage MORE's comments about working civilly with segregationist senators by telling reporters to ask former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race Political purity tests are for losers Deportations lower under Trump administration than Obama: report MORE if he "shares these concerns."

“I find this odd that the media is now discovering something about Joe Biden they didn't know in 2008. Why didn't this come up in 2008 when he was picked to be the vice president?" Graham said. "And do you really believe that Barack Obama believes there's something gone wrong with Joe Biden because he worked with people that were different?"

“Go ask President Obama if he shares these concerns."

The Hill reached out to an Obama spokesperson for comment.


Biden, the front-runner in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, made headlines this week after saying at a Tuesday fundraiser that he was able to accomplish things during his time in the Senate in the 1970s while working with segregationist senators, despite their differing views.

Biden said he “didn’t agree on much” with Sens. James Eastland (D-Miss.) and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.), but they “got things done.”

The former VP drew backlash from several of his fellow 2020 candidates, including Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerJayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Fox News anchor apologizes for saying Booker dropped out of 2020 race MORE (D-N.J.), who asked Biden to apologize for his remarks.

Biden dismissed calls to apologize Wednesday. 

“He knows better,” Biden said referencing Booker’s call for an apology. "There’s not a racist bone in my body. I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career. Period. Period. Period."

On Thursday, Graham dismissed some of the backlash, saying the idea that Biden is “somehow sympathetic to the views of his opponents because he worked with them is crazy.” 

“It will destroy the country. I can give you a long list of things I disagree with about abortion, guns, you name it, and if I used that as an excuse to not work on immigration the country would be hurt,” Graham said.

The Hill reached out to Biden's campaign for comment.