On Thursday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News host Sean Hannity that the Republicans cannot “move forward” without former President Trump and that he is needed for the growth of the party.
The comments were made as Republicans coalesce to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her powerful position as the third-ranking House member after her support for the impeachment of Trump and her continual criticism of the former president. She was one of 10 House Republicans that voted to impeach Trump in February following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“I would just say to my Republican colleagues, can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no,” Graham bluntly remarked during the interview that also addressed elections in Georgia.
“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,” he flatly stated.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
Graham also pointed out that Trump is making progress with minorities and that they are attracted to the “Trump Republican Party.” He posited that Americans embrace his “economic populism” and “America First agenda.”
“If you don’t get that, you’re making the biggest mistake in the history of the Republican Party,” Graham declared.
Graham has been a staunch ally of Trump’s for a long time. He recently told “Axios on HBO” that: “He could make the Republican Party something that nobody else I know can make it. He can make it bigger. He can make it stronger. He can make it more diverse. And he also could destroy it.”
(Video Credit: Axios on HBO)
He pointed out in the interview with Hannity that Trump appears to be on the side of working people and opportunity, not dependency.
Trump has thrown his support behind Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) in the bid to oust Cheney. So has House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA). There are reportedly enough votes to do so now that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is formally opposing Cheney. In April Trump called Cheney a “warmongering fool” and repeatedly vowed to end her political career.
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Cheney wrote a scathing op-ed for the Washington Post on Wednesday entitled: “Liz Cheney: The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us.” In it, she stated that the party should move away from “the Trump cult of personality.”
Democrats were quick to attack Graham’s statements. They lined up to take a shot at him.
Democrat Congressman Eric Swalwell mocked Graham on Twitter with lyrics from a song: “Tell me, how am I supposed to live without you?
Now that I’ve been loving you so long
How am I supposed to live without you
And how am I supposed to carry on?
When all that I’ve been livin’ for is gone…”
MSNBC host Chris Hayes questioned Graham’s morality: “This is refreshingly honest. Partly because he views her as making a tactical determination as opposed to a moral one (possibly true!) and also because this logic is independent of any moral considerations whatsoever.”
And Fred Wellman, who is the Executive Director of the disgraced Lincoln Project, smeared Graham for all he was worth: “They are all in on authoritarianism and national populism. They are not a serious party anymore and this pathetic husk of an empty chicken suit is the living proof.”