Lindsey Graham: I’d Stand Up to Trump But “I’m Trying to Get Taxes Cut”
On Tuesday, after announcing he would not run for re-election, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake delivered a blistering speech on the Senate floor admonishing Donald Trump and urging his fellow Republicans to speak out against him. “We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country—the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations,” he said. The speech came amid Trump’s ongoing feud with Senator Bob Corker, who has said that the ex-reality show host could set the U.S. “on the path to World War III.” And while many lawmakers privately agree that the volatile president’s frequent outbursts and pointed attacks are more befitting the set of The Apprentice than the Oval Office, few are willing to actually do anything about it, given that their holy grail—a bill that cuts taxes for the wealthy—is on the line.
Most Republicans have been careful not to come right out and say, Hell yes, I prioritize tax cuts over the safety of the country, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell telling reporters, “I don’t have any observation about” Corker’s comments and House Speaker Paul Ryan asking people to “put this Twitter dispute aside” and “forget about it.” Then you have Senator Lindsey Graham, who on Wednesday dropped the charade and spelled it out for anyone who was having trouble reading between the lines.
“I like him a lot,” Graham said on Wednesday when asked about Flake’s speech. “I think it’s a loss to the Senate. I share some of his concerns about what the president said, about the way he behaves. The election is over. I’m focused on results, and that’s why I’m here. I’d rather not be a constant critic. I’ll stand up when I need to, but I’m trying to get taxes cut.” (Graham also cited repealing Obamacare and “win[ning] a war we can’t afford to lose” as reasons he will not be speaking out against Trump at this time.)
Graham, as you may recall, once described Trump as a “jackass” and an “idiot,” but now that they’re working together to deliver a gigantic tax cut to corporate America and the rich disguised as tax relief for the middle-class, he describes the president a little differently: “He’s a dealmaker, and he’s extremely flexible,” Graham told The Washington Post. “Just keep talking to him. Keep him close.” Translation: a Flake-like deflection, from Graham at least, is highly unlikely.
via Vanity Fair http://bit.ly/2xvuIXg
October 25, 2017 at 11:36AM