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.
- On immigration; articles.sfgate.com, 17 March 2006 accessed 4 February 2010
- I'm not a libertarian. If you are, you're welcome to vote for me and help this party, but we're not gonna build the party around libertarian ideas.
- 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.
- "Politics and Pies" forum hosted by Concord City Republican Committee (7 March 2015)
- I am running (for president) because I think the world is falling apart.
- As quoted in "Lindsey Graham announcing at CBS “This Morning” interview his presidential bid" (18 May 2015), by Dylan Stableford, "YAHOO Politics"
- "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."
- As quoted in "Republican conference: Day two - Bush 'proud' of family" (22 May 2015), by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, United Kingdom: British Broadcasting Corporation
- We have never seen more threats against our nation and its citizens than we do today.
- As quoted in "America's Next Top Fearmonger: The presidential candidates compete to scare the daylights out of the U.S. public." (22 May 2015), by Robert Golan-Vilella, National Interest
- There are bad people in this world who are motivated by hate.
- As quoted in "South Carolina Governor Releases Strangely Obtuse Statement On Black Church Shooting" (18 June 2015), by Julia Craven, The Huffington Post
- 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 quoted in "Lindsey Graham Says SC Church Shooting Suspect Dylann Roof Was His Niece's Classmate" (18 June 2015), by Ali Dukakis, ABC News
- As a party, we are better to risk losing without Donald Trump than trying to win with him. Enough already with Mister Trump.
- Twitter post (August 2015)
- 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  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 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, March 10, 2016
- Our government has a responsibility to defend our borders, but we must do so in a way that makes us safer and upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation.
- Statement by Senators McCain & Graham on Executive Order on Immigration (27 January 2017) from the Office of Senator John McCain regarding [Donald J. Trump]'s Executive Order 13769 entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States", as quoted by Jacob Sallum from Reason magazine in Here Is What Republican Critics of Trump's Immigration Order Are Saying on January 31, 2017
- 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
- I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind. I'm not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here. 'I'm not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here': Graham predicts Trump impeachment will 'die quickly' in Senate, December 14, 2019
- 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
- 6 January 2021, reported 1 November 2021 by Joseph Choi of "The Hill" here
- despite what Graham said, lethal force WAS used, as Ashli Babbitt was shot to death
- 6 January 2021, reported 1 November 2021 by Joseph Choi of "The Hill" here
- 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.
- 30 January 2022 reported by TGP
- 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
- Collins, Manchin and other lawmakers react to the Supreme Court draft opinion (Updated: 05/03/2022 03:11 PM EDT)
- If there’s a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information, after the Clinton debacle … there’ll be riots in the streets.
- "Lindsey Graham Warns Of 'Riots In Streets' If Trump Is Charged Over Classified Docs" (August 29, 2022), Quote made on Fox News’ “Sunday Night in America" on August 28, 2022.)
- 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.
- [Military assistance to Ukraine] The best money we’ve ever spent.
Quotes about Graham
- This is deeply misleading at best and laughably false at worst. You could, I suppose, defend Graham’s assertion by saying that we face a greater number of threats than we have in the past. But it makes very little sense in a country that, among other things, has seen its own White House burned down, fought a bloody civil war and two world wars, and survived several close brushes with apocalyptic thermonuclear war during the Cold War.
- Robert Golan-Vilella, as quoted in "America's Next Top Fearmonger: The presidential candidates compete to scare the daylights out of the U.S. public." (22 May 2015), by R. Golan-Vilella, National Interest.
- 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.
- Trita Parsi, as quoted in "NIAC Condemns Senator Graham’s Racist Statement, Demands Apology" (24 May 2015), National Iranian American Council.
- ...I would use him as a canary in the coalmine and the degree to which he has doubled, tripled and quadrupled down on Trump says everything. Whether you like him or not, he has a good political nose for his base. He knows South Carolina well and his reading the tea leaves is not to be dismissed.
- Mark Sanford according to "I’m a citizen with no country:’ Mark Sanford on turning against Trump and his party" (August 23, 2021)
- 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.
- George Will, "Trump Should Have No Place in the Party of Liberty and Limited Government" (22 August 2015), National Review.
- 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."
- Bob Woodward, Fear: Trump in the White House (2018), p. 317
- 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.
- Bob Woodward, Rage (2020), p. 389-390