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 CottonHillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Facebook deepfake ban falls short | House passes bills to win 5G race | Feds sound alarm on cyberthreat from Iran | Ivanka Trump appearance at tech show sparks backlash Cotton introduces bill blocking intel sharing with countries relying on Huawei for 5G GOP senators introduce resolution to change rules, dismiss impeachment without articles MORE (R-Ark.) took a swipe at Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhite House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team Hypocrisy is the currency of the realm for GOP in the age of Trump Lawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown MORE's (R-S.C.) short-lived presidential aspirations on Friday after Graham compared Cotton to Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingWith surge in anti-Semitism, political leaders need to be aggressive and reflective in response Steve King challenger: 2020 Democrats have 'huge' opportunity to win over rural America Author sues NY Times after it calls him a 'white nationalist' 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.

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“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 TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' 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.