Graham: If Dems would send ‘somebody that’s not crazy to deal with ‘we might be able to negotiate

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Sen. Lindsey Graham believes lawmakers could reach a deal to end the partial government shutdown more quickly if Democrats would just send someone who’s “not crazy” to the negotiating table.

On Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” the South Carolina Republican criticized the lack of progress being made in reaching an agreement that would put all of the federal government back to work, noting that “radical” liberals are hindering efforts to end the stalemate between Democrats and the GOP.

“Dick Durbin’s a reasonable guy, but he’s not leading this parade,” Graham told CBS News host Margaret Brennan, referring to the Illinois Democrat.

“We’re not going to give in to this radical left – ever – until we can find a rational way forward,” Graham argued, saying that “as long as the radical left is in charge,” negotiations are “never going to get anywhere.”

While Brennan pressed that Durbin, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been a part of the ongoing negotiations, Graham countered, referring to a meeting held by Vice President Mike Pence over the weekend.

“He’s not in the room. Neither one of them are in the room. They sent staff people to do the negotiation. The vice president’s in the room with a bunch of staffers,” Graham said.

“I think we’ll have offers on the table when we find somebody that’s not crazy to deal with,” he added. “We’re not going to put any offers on the table as long as people in charge of these negotiations accuse all of us who want a wall as being a racist, and see our border patrol agents as gassing children.

In a CBS interview with “60 Minutes” on Sunday, freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she had “no question” that President Donald Trump is a racist.

“Until you get that crowd put to the sidelines, I don’t see anything happening,” Graham said Sunday.

The lawmaker argued that “the Democratic Party has supported $25 billion in the past,” and noted the change from working with Durbin on border security in the past.

“Every plan in the past that I’ve supported with Dick Durbin has had money for physical barriers, including walls and fences — except now, when Trump’s president,” Graham said.

“We’ll negotiate with Dick Durbin, but I’m not going to negotiate with somebody who calls the border patrol agents a bunch of Nazis when they’re trying to defend the border against a mob,” he added.

Frieda Powers

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