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Harrison says he's running against a different Lindsey Graham than in the past

Democratic Senate candidate Jaime HarrisonJaime HarrisonCostco raising minimum wage to an hour New Democratic Party chief announces top hires Trump's new PAC raised millions as he sought to overturn election results MORE said his opponent, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Sunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate Georgia DA investigating Trump taps racketeering expert for probe: report MORE (R-S.C.), is different than “Lindsey Graham 1.0” in years past.

“I like to say there’s Lindsey Graham 1.0, and now I’m running against Lindsey Graham 2.0,” Harrison told Axios while discussing polls that show a tight race in the state. Graham has cruised to reelection in previous races.

“The old Lindsey Graham I thought did a fairly good job. This new Lindsey Graham is MIA,” Harrison added.

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Lindsay Graham 2.0,” he said, arose “right around the passing of [Sen.] John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGraham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Former Trump Defense chief Esper to join McCain Institute We need an independent 1/6 commission that the whole country can have confidence in MORE,” a close friend of Graham’s. “The old Lindsey Graham finally went away and this new Lindsey Graham emerged.”

Harrison also said that Graham “called Donald Trump a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot" during Graham's failed presidential run in 2016. Since Trump’s electoral victory, however, Graham has become one of the president’s most vocal allies in the Senate.

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"I grew up in the South. My grandma would tell you, you don’t use that type of language unless you mean it. And now he’s saying, ‘I don’t understand why people are trying to castigate the president in that manner.’ Lindsey, I didn’t call the president that, you did,” Harrison added.

Harrison went on to say Graham's changing position "epitomizes why people hate politics and why they distrust politicians."

"It is because this guy has his interests as his number one priority and not the interests of the people," he added. "He wants to be important, he wants to be in the president's orbit, as he has said multiple times."

Graham's campaign responded by praising the senator's record and trying to tie Harrison to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump White House associate tied to Proud Boys before riot via cell phone data Greene sounds off on GOP after Hill story 'Bloody Sunday' to be commemorated for first time without John Lewis MORE (D-Calif.).

“Once again, Mr. Harrison smears Senator Graham from his basement while offering no constructive solutions to problems facing America," campaign spokesperson T.W. Arrighi told The Hill. "South Carolinians appreciate Senator Graham’s conservative record of getting things done for our state, and they will reject Mr. Harrison’s candidacy because they definitely don’t want a liberal lobbyist who works with Nancy Pelosi representing them in Washington.”

Updated at 2 p.m.