Despite voting in Trump’s favor, McConnell, R-Ky., blamed the former president for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Graham warned on “Fox News Sunday” that this will be used against Republicans as they try to retake control of Congress in 2022.
“I think Sen. McConnell’s speech, he got a load off his chest, obviously, but unfortunately he put a load on the back of Republicans,” Graham said. “That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns.”
Graham said GOP candidates running in states like Arizona and Georgia that could be key in Republican efforts to take back the Senate will be asked about McConnell’s speech. Likewise, he said incumbent candidates will be asked about whether they will support McConnell in the future.
McConnell said Saturday that Trump committed “a disgraceful dereliction of duty” by his actions prior to the deadly riot and was “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.”
Graham said that while Trump had pushed “narratives about the election that I think is not sound and not true,” he does not believe the former president’s words incited the riot.
Looking at the party as a whole, Graham said McConnell’s speech is an “outlier” when it comes to GOP’s feelings about Trump’s second impeachment.
Graham said he has spoken to Trump since the trial, and while the former president is upset with some members of his party, he is “excited about 2022” and looking to help rebuild the Republican Party in next year’s midterm elections.
The senator also said he believes the impeachment set a dangerous precedent.
“I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House, because she actually bailed out rioters, and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open,” Graham said. “So we’ve opened Pandora’s box here, and I’m sad for the country.”
In June, Harris and other Democrats urged people to contribute to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which was posting bail for people arrested during George Floyd’s protests.
“If politicians were doing the job they were elected to do, we would have a completely different country – one that supported its legal citizens.”
“There is no long game for Trumpism because there is no scenario where a majority of Americans will ever embrace it. The GOP needs to move back to its traditional, moral, family first, fiscally conservative background. The longer the GOP continues to embrace Trumpism and supports traitors like Hawley and Cruz and wackadoodles like Laser Beam Greene (Q-Georgia), the more they will push traditional moderates and centrists further to the left.”
“We need Federal Election laws that make every state go by the same rules. We need voter ID’s. 1 week of early voting. All early and mail-in votes must be counted and verified prior to Election Day. Mail-in ballots by request only.”
“The GOP should shed some of that load by booting McConnell to the curb, at least as a leader of the party in the Senate. Even if he knows how to play the game within the system, the time for new leadership may be now. Frankly, I would say the same is true for the Dems, but unfortunately the most of the “new” would be even more left-wing and socialist.”
“The impending call in the senate to hear evidence testimony from witnesses over the November election will be EXPLOSIVE in exposing the WIDESPREAD IRREGULARITIES that allowed blatant election fraud. The numbers are now available for all to see: Illegal ‘last-minute’ changes to election laws not authorized by state legislation as required, ballot harvesting, ‘drop boxes’ without a ‘chain of verification, counted ballots grossly exceeding the numbers of registered voters, and ‘last-minute’ dump of tens of thousands of ballots overnight, without the required bi-partisan poll watchers presence, just to name a few, have now shown the FRAUD was far more than many imagined by many voters. That ‘election’ was even more of a sham than BOTH of the Democrat’s ‘so-called’ impeachments, and it shouts out for heads to roll!”
“The Democrats will morn the day that they change impeachment into a political tool. The impeachment of Nixon in 1973 was a correct use of the impeachment process. The impeachments of Trump were pure political actions taken by an angry and scared democratic party. Even the impeachment of Clinton was base on the act of lying under oath. Now the Republicans will feel it would be ok for them to use it for the same purpose. Senator Reed lowered the bar for confirmations and the republicans followed suit. So it is just politics as normal.”