Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right GOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization MORE (R-S.C.) and Jaime Harrison, his Democratic opponent, will not debate Friday night as scheduled over a disagreement over taking coronavirus tests before they face off against each other.
The event was scrapped after Harrison said he would not participate in the debate unless Graham was tested for COVID-19 before they met, a request Graham denied. The two will instead participate in separate 30-minute forums on local station WSPA in Spartanburg.
The decision on the separate interviews marks the end of a whirlwind 24 hours in which Harrison maintained the COVID-19 test was a safety issue, while Graham fired back that the Democrat was trying to make a last-minute change to rules to which the two campaign had already agreed.
“Appears @harrisonjaime is skipping tonights debate. Mr. Harrision is ducking the debate because the more we know about his radical policies, the less likely he is to win. It's not about medicine, its politics. His liberal views are a loser in South Carolina - and he knows it!” Graham said in a series of tweets. “Mr. Harrison is demanding special treatment. Other than Mr. Harrison, is any other South Carolinian demanding every person they come in contact with be tested before they meet?”
Mr. Harrison is demanding special treatment.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 9, 2020
Other than Mr. Harrison, is any other South Carolinian demanding every person they come in contact with be tested before they meet?
“We’re disappointed that Lindsey has failed to take a simple coronavirus test, but we appreciate our hosts were able to change the event format to make it safer for everyone,” Harrison campaign spokesman Guy King fired back in a statement. “Jaime will be there in Spartanburg to talk to voters.”
The debate change-up was the latest development in a Senate race that has become increasingly competitive, with a number of polls showing Graham and Harrison deadlocked in the final sprint to Election Day.