Lindsey Graham's Political Advisor Used to Be the Editor of a Neo-Confederate Magazine

News & Politics
Sen. Lindsey Graham's quixotic presidential campaign is doing what he wants it to do—getting his name floated for what he really wants, to be secretary of state or defense. It's also getting him the kind of scrutiny no public figure really wants.
Richard Quinn has been quoted in the press as South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s longtime political adviser and his consultant and pollster. But there’s another title that Quinn once held: neo-Confederate magazine editor.

From early 1980s until the early 2000s, Quinn's name stood on the masthead as the editor-in-chief of the Southern Partisan, formerly one of the country's leading neo-Confederate magazines (it still exists in a barebones online version). Quinn has tried to distance himself from the magazine in the past (he says he doesn't like the term neo-Confederate), and after being contacted by BuzzFeed News, repudiated his past views and those of the magazine.

It was in his capacity as editor that Quinn wrote that Martin Luther King Jr.'s role in the Civil Rights movement was "to lead his people into a perpetual dependence on the welfare state, a terrible bondage of body and soul." He called Nelson Mandela a "terrorist" and a "bad egg." He wrote positively of David Duke's election: "What better way to reject politics as usual than to elect a maverick like David Duke?" In one column, he called Martin Luther King Day's purpose "vitriolic and profane."

That's all in his past, he says. Now, he says, he's just your run-of-the-mill "mainstream southern conservative," and "'it really hurts me' BuzzFeed News was writing the story or linking it to Graham."

But it's also in Graham's past, because as Quinn admits, he's "been with (Graham) since he ran for Congress in ‘93, and whatever Lindsey does this cycle, I’ll be in his corner." What's more, Graham granted an interview to Southern Partisan in 1999. So back when he was spouting this kind of rhetoric that he now repudiates, he was in Graham's fold? Quinn tells Buzzfeed that, back then, those kinds of ideas were "mainstream." Right.

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