Cotton swipes back at Graham: At least Steve King can 'win an election in Iowa'

Cotton swipes back at Graham: At least Steve King can 'win an election in Iowa'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant Cotton2020 Democrats raise alarm about China's intellectual property theft Bolton returns to political group after exiting administration Meadows, Cotton introduce bill to prevent district judges from blocking federal policy changes MORE (R-Ark.) took a swipe at Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico Bolton exit provokes questions about Trump shift on Iran The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation MORE's (R-S.C.) short-lived presidential aspirations on Friday after Graham compared Cotton to Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingOcasio-Cortez rips Steve King after he shares video drinking from toilet-fountain hybrid at border Steve King says he drank from toilet at detention center Steve King jokes about China forcing Muslims to eat pork MORE (R-Iowa) due to his stance on immigration.

“The difference between Steve King and Lindsey Graham is that Steve King can actually win an election in Iowa,” Cotton told reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Look, we had an election in 2016. Immigration was a major issue there and the American people and especially Republican primary voters made it clear that they wanted Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE’s vision of immigration policy, not Lindsey Graham’s. He didn’t make it to the starting line and he didn’t even make it off the kiddie table in the debates," Cotton said. 

Graham ran for the Republican nomination for president for a few months in 2015.

Graham slammed Cotton earlier on Friday, dubbing him "the sort of Steve King of the Senate" for his policies on immigration, which have created difficulties for GOP leadership negotiating legislation to fund the government.

"All I can say is we're not going to end family immigration for DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals]," Graham said. "The Tom Cotton approach has no viability here. You know, he's become sort of the Steve King of the Senate."

Cotton and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) are looking to end so-called chain migration, which allows U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor family members abroad to come to the U.S., in exchange for legislation protecting DACA participants.

King is a hard-liner on immigration and has pushed to end DACA.  

Congress is battling over a funding bill to keep the government from shutting down at midnight. Protections for the DACA program are part of those negotiations.