Lindsey Graham

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I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say, “Lindsey Graham said, ‘Let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,’” and you could use my words against me, and you’d be absolutely right.
Even if you're open-minded about compromise, you're wrong. It's a very simple answer to a complex problem.
There are bad people in this world who are motivated by hate.

Lindsey Olin Graham (born 9 July 1955) is an American politician serving as the senior United States senator from South Carolina, a seat he has held since 2003. A member of the Republican Party, Graham served as chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary from 2019 to 2021.




  • Let's just get to the political heart of the matter, No matter what you want to call it, beyond border enforcement, a lot of people, particularly on our side, don't want to have a debate about this. Even if you debate it, you're wrong. Even if you're open-minded about compromise, you're wrong. It's a very simple answer to a complex problem. Send them all back. End of discussion, end of debate. Now that to me is not a realistic approach to a real problem.




  • I want to talk very quickly about the world as we wish it to be. As we celebrate tonight, let's embrace in our hearts the world that we all wish it to be, a world where there's no rockets from Gaza, no Hezbollah attacks from the north, where Palestinian children go to school without being taught hate -- that's the world we wish it to be. An Iran controlled by its people, not some theocracy. An Iran governed by someone other than a Holocaust denier -- that's the world we wish it to be. An Iran pursuing peaceful nuclear power, not a nuclear weapon. A world where moderate Muslims are celebrated, not condemned and killed. An Afghanistan where a young girl never fears the soccer stadium, but can go to school and achieve her dreams. A free and independent Iraq where Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds can settle their differences at the ballot box and through the rule of law and be an inspiration to the Mideast. A UN, a United Nations that can actually control thugs and dictators. A United Nations that would never issue the Goldstone Report. That's the world as we wish it to be. This is the world as it is, and if you don't know the difference, then the world is a dangerous place. I know the difference between the world as we wish it to be and the world as it is. The world as it is, is a divided Palestinian people, a place that allows rockets to be launched from apartment buildings, a place for a mosques are weapon storage sites, a place where school children are taught hate -- that's the world as it is.


  • And here's the first thing I would do if I were president of the United States. I wouldn't let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We're not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts.
  • "Everything I know about the Iranians I learned at the pool room," [Graham] said. "I met a lot of liars, and I know the Iranians are lying."
  • I can't explain this. I don't know what would make a young man at 21 get so sick and twisted to kill nine people in a church; this is beyond my understanding... There are real people out there who are organized to kill people in religion and based on race. But it's 2015 there are people out there looking for Christians to kill them. So this is a mean time we live in.
  • As a party, we are better to risk losing without Donald Trump than trying to win with him. Enough already with Mister Trump.


  • It’s like [choosing between] being shot or poisoned.
    • Lindsey Graham about whether he would choose Trump or Cruz for the President of the United States. February 21, 2016
  • If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody could convict you.
    • Graham commenting on unpopularity of Cruz in the Senate. As quoted in [1] February 26, 2016
  • If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed... and we will deserve it.
    • Commenting on the long-term effect a Trump nomination would have on the Republican Party (5 May 2016)
  • Embracing Donald Trump is embracing demographic death.
    • Commenting on Donald J. Trump's unpopularity among Hispanic American voters (6 May 2016)
  • I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy [on the United States Supreme Court] occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say, “Lindsey Graham said, ‘Let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,’” and you could use my words against me, and you’d be absolutely right.
    • Commenting on Mitch McConnell's decision to obstruct the Merrick Garland Supreme Court nomination on the grounds that the 2016 election was less than nine months away, March 10, 2016; when such a vacancy occurred as a result of the September 2020 death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Graham endorsed having her replacement be appointed by then-incumbent Republican president Donald Trump, even though the 2020 election was less than two months away.


  • Finally, a president willing to take on this absurd policy of birthright citizenship.
    I’ve always supported comprehensive immigration reform – and at the same time – the elimination of birthright citizenship.
    In addition, I plan to introduce legislation along the same lines as the proposed executive order from President
  • To young people out there, young people of color, young immigrants, this is a great state, but one thing I can say without any doubt, you can be an African American and go to the Senate but you just have to share our values. If you’re a young, African American or an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative, not liberal. Graham debating Jamie Harrison in Columbia, South Carolina


  • What are you doing? Take back the Senate!
    You've got guns. Use them. We give you guns for a reason, use them.
    Lethal force should have been used.
    How come you didn't protect us? It's doing your job.
  • I don’t want to reinforce that defiling the Capitol was okay. I don’t want to do anything that would make this more likely in the future.
    I hope they go to jail and get the book thrown at them because they deserve it.
  • It is a sad day for the Supreme Court and a dangerous day for the Rule of Law. The radical assault on our institutions and the Constitution itself has reached a new level with the release of a draft opinion on a major issue facing the Court
  • Here’s an offer to my Russian ‘friends’ who want to arrest and try me for calling out the Putin regime as being war criminals: I will submit to jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if you do.
  • They're sitting on 10 to $12 trillion of critical minerals in Ukraine. They could be the richest country in all of Europe. I don't want to give that money and those assets to Putin to share with China. If we help Ukraine now, they can become the best business partner we ever dreamed of, that 10 to $12 trillion of critical mineral assets could be used by Ukraine and the West, not given to Putin and China. This is a very big deal how Ukraine ends. Let's help them win a war we can't afford to lose. Let's find a solution to this war. But they're sitting on a gold mine. To give Putin 10 or $12 trillion for critical minerals that he will share with China is ridiculous.

Quotes about Graham

  • The reason to condemn Trump and Graham for their “lynching” remarks is not to score a partisan point or because it will make a difference in their language or behavior. It’s because we haven’t actually resolved the trauma of the past. Historical spaces are still contested. The scars are still present.
  • The Senator's repulsive remarks are racist, period. This type of discourse should have no place in American politics... Graham essentially admits to being a bigot, because nothing says 'I'm stereotyping' more than basing judgment of an entire people solely on a handful of interactions in a pool room... Graham's racist statement raises concerns about his ability to speak on vital national security matters such as the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Because if you judge an entire people based on your experience running a pool hall-liquor store, do you really have the judgment to keep America safe? This is Graham's 'I can see Russia from my house' moment... Senator Graham owes the Iranian-American communit, one of the most successful communities in the United States, an apology. And all others presidential hopefuls,Republicans and Democrats, should condemn his bigoted comments.
  • Trump’s normally loquacious rivals are swaggeringly eager to confront Vladimir Putin, but are too invertebrate — Lindsey Graham is an honorable exception — to voice robust disgust with Trump and the spirit of, the police measures necessary for, and the cruelties that would accompany, his policy.
  • Trump seemed to love the adulation but said to Graham, "You're a middle-of-the-road guy. I want you to be 100 percent for Trump." This resembled the loyalty pledge that then FBI director James Comey said that Trump had asked of him. According to Comey, Trump had said, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty," during their now famous one-on-one Green Room dinner in the White House during the first week of the Trump presidency. "Okay, what's the issue?" Graham asked, "and I'll tell you whether I'm 100 percent for you or not." "You're like 82 percent," Trump said. "Well, some days I'm 100 percent. Some days I may be zero." "I want you to be a 100 percent guy." "Why would you want me to tell you you're right when I think you're wrong? What good does that do for you or me?" Graham asked. "Presidents need people that can tell them the truth as they see it. It's up to you to see if I'm full of shit."
  • The dead-seated hatreds of American politics flourished in the Trump years. He stoked them, and did not make concerted efforts to bring the country together. Nor did the Democrats. Trump felt deeply wronged by the Democrats who felt deeply wronged by Trump. The walls between them only grew higher and thicker. My 17 interviews with Trump presented a challenge. He denounced Fear, my first book on him, as untrue, a "scam" and a "joke," calling me a "Dem operative." Several of those closest to him told him that the book was true, and Lindsey Graham told him that I would not put words in his mouth and would report as accurately as possible. Trump decided, for reasons that are not clear to me, that he would cooperate. To his mind, he would become a reliable source. He is reliable at times, completely unreliable at others, and often mixed... But the interviews show he vacillated, prevaricated and at times dodged his role as leader of the country despite his "I alone can fix it" rhetoric. As America and the world know, Trump is an overpowering presence. He loves spectacle. In a time of crisis, the operational is much more important than the political or the personal. For tens of millions the optimistic American story has turned into a nightmare.
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