Lindsey Graham says the GOP can't 'move forward without' Donald Trump

1419

It's a far cry from the South Carolina senator's past assertion that Trump would be the end of the Republican Party.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday night waded into the food fight between Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and her House Republican colleagues, saying he believes Cheney is wrong in her effort to push Donald Trump out of the Republican Party.

"Can we move forward without President Trump?" Graham said in an interview on Fox News. "The answer is no. I've always liked Liz Cheney, but she's made a determination that the Republican Party can't grow with President Trump. I've determined we can't grow without him."

Cheney is being pushed out of her No. 3 role in the House Republican Conference because Republicans are sick of her calling out Trump's lies.

Cheney has been an outspoken critic of Trump's since he began to push lies about voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, and even more so after he helped foment a deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, saying that Trump should not hold any leadership role in the GOP moving forward.

Her comments are almost certain to lose her role as chair of the House Republican conference. She's expected to be replaced by Rep. Elise Stefanik, the New York Republican who went from playing a Trump critic to a Trump sycophant who has no qualms about pushing his voter fraud lies.

In fact, Stefanik's transformation is similar to Graham's.

During the Republican primary in 2016, Graham was an outspoken Trump critic who infamously tweeted, "If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it."

But Graham then embraced Trump, becoming his chummy golf buddy and excusing even his worse actions — including Trump's incitement of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol.

"You talk about unifying the country... If you do not stand up against the impeachment of President Trump after he leaves office, you are an incredibly weak figure in American history," Graham said in an interview on Fox News in January after President Joe Biden was inaugurated. "President Trump is trying to heal the nation. Pursuing impeachment after he leaves the office will further divide the country."

Even though Graham says Republicans need Trump to help the party grow in the future, Trump actually cost the GOP its power over his four years in office.

In 2018, Republicans lost control of the House in a Democratic wave. Trump then lost reelection in 2020, and Republicans lost control of the Senate after two runoff elections in Georgia in January 2021.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.