Ex-Lindsey Graham campaign staffer: GOP senator is a ‘man of low character’ who embodies ‘everything wrong with our political system’

Ex-Lindsey Graham campaign staffer: GOP senator is a ‘man of low character’ who embodies ‘everything wrong with our political system’
Photo via Gage Skidmore.

When conservative activist Nicholas Connors was working on Sen. Lindsey Graham's presidential campaign in 2016, the South Carolina Republican made no secret of how vile he considered Donald Trump to be; now, Graham is one of Trump's most devoted supporters. Connors, founder of NSC Strategies, discusses Graham's flip-flopping in an article published in The Bulwark on November 18 — and slams him as a glaring example of everything that is appalling about politics in the United States.

"I worked for Lindsey Graham's 2016 presidential campaign as his national director of ballot access and delegates," Connors explains. "As part of his senior staff, I spent one-on-one time with Graham advising him on different political initiatives related to getting him on every primary ballot and securing delegates for the Republican convention. I worked for him because I saw him, at the time, as a man of moral clout who was unafraid to speak his mind and who would be a good guide for the American people. Needless to say, I was wrong."

Graham had nothing good to say about Trump when he was running against him in the 2016 GOP presidential primary. But the senator, Connors notes, went from telling Americans they should "tell Donald Trump to go to hell" to "licking Trump's boots on command" — and someone who once described Trump as a "race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot" became "one of the most fawning Trump sycophants in the entire GOP herd."

Connors acknowledges that Graham is hardly the only U.S. politician who has flip-flopped when it was convenient, but he stresses that in Graham's case, the flip-flopping has been especially appalling.

"Every politician moves and shakes in some way — it's the nature of the beast," Connors explains. "But for Graham, his song and dance has been more aggressive than most. It includes lies, over-the-top rhetoric, immoral conduct, and a direct assault on our democratic institutions. Some of the highlights: aggressively encouraging Trump to subvert the Constitution by redirecting congressionally appointed money; allowing his campaign team to go unpunished for using a racist dog-whistle against Jamie Harrison; failing to stand against Trump's attacks on John McCain when his old friend passed away; reneging on his word that he wouldn't support a SCOTUS appointment in the last year of a presidential campaign; mocking the juror oath he took for Trump's impeachment hearing."

Connors adds that following Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, Graham has become even more shameless and sunk to "a new low."

"Lindsey Graham has sought to have legally cast ballots excluded from the vote count in Georgia," Connors observes. "This goes beyond indulging Trump's conspiracy theories and into the realm of actively trying to undermine the democratic process."

Many of Trump's Republican supporters are furious with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, for saying that Biden won the state fair and square — and Raffensperger has been receiving death threats from some Trump voters. Graham, Connors points out, "has been on the phone with Secretary Raffensperger asking him if he has the power to exclude all mail ballots in counties with higher rates of non-matching signatures."

"Graham is not just dabbling in illegal behavior — he is seeking to undermine the bedrock of our republic: free and fair elections," Connors argues. "If Lindsey Graham had any sense of shame, he would resign from the chairmanship of the (Senate) Judiciary Committee. And since he obviously does not, there should be a Senate ethics inquiry into this conduct. But of course, that won't happen, either."

Time and time again, Connors laments, Graham has shown himself to be "a man of low character."

"For Graham, being a United States senator isn't about helping Americans or advancing principles," Connors writes. "It's about swimming in the pool of power and feeding off the scraps the big fish leave behind. In short: Lindsey Graham is everything that's wrong with our political system."

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