“Lindsay, just say it and say, ‘I’ve changed my mind,'” Harrison said in an interview after a rally with about 250 cars.
“I think people are waking up to the fact that this person is more interested in his popularity in DC than in his address. [voters’] needs, ”Harrison said, tapping Graham for showing up at Sean Hannity’s during the day.
Graham is facing a headwind this year that was unforeseen even a few months ago. He recently resorted to his campaign website during his Fox News appearances, which raised $ 28 million in fundraising in the third quarter, a record for a GOP Senate candidate, albeit a only a small portion of Harrison̵
“[Trump] can be a handful; it can hinder one’s own success, “Graham said in a brief interview. “But as we approach election day, a comparison is being made of where the country under his leadership will go with that of the Democratic Party. And I think it’s getting better every day. “
“This is not a race for personality,” Graham added, referring to Trump. “This is about the future of your country.”
But Trump’s drooping polls are creating problems for Graham. Harrison’s campaign covered the airwaves and the network with ads portraying the actor as unreliable and hypocritical, pointing to his becoming a cheerleader for Trump.
“[Voters] “They tend to treat hypocrites very poorly,” Jim Cliburn (DS.C.) said in an interview before Harrison’s rally.
“And they look at these candidates, and when they can see the authenticity, they tend to buy it. That’s what Jamie did, “added Cliburn, who called Harrison his protégé.
Graham on Friday declined to say whether Trump was helping him or hurting him, even as he hugged the president.
On equal terms, the candidate with an “R” next to his name wins in the state of South Carolina, based on the composition of the electorate. So Graham is seeking a fourth term, freeing himself from his bipartisan credit and introducing himself as a conventional Republican.
In fact, not all things are equal in this election, and Graham, 65, is anything but a traditional Republican.
He sailed for re-election in 2014 after responding to the tea party, isolating himself from detractors on the right, who, among other issues, called for his moderation on immigration and gun control. He was once a Republican for Democrats who wanted to make a deal, and in 2014 he stuck to his long-held beliefs and maintained his reputation for telling the truth, despite the main challenge on the right.
The difference between Graham 2014 and Graham 2020 is not difficult to understand. On Friday, he reunited with Nancy Mace, who challenged him on the right in 2014 and is now running against first representative Joe Cunningham (DS.C.). Mace and Graham were fierce rivals, just as Graham and Trump were during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“She’s my teammate now,” Graham said in a short interview. “It just tells you it’s not about Nancy and me … We put our differences aside to focus on the common.”
In fact, the Graham-Mace partnership is mutually beneficial. Republicans are in trouble here, rejecting their old insults and litmus tests.
“It’s important … to show unity to everyone,” Mace said in a brief interview after the rally with Graham.
Graham insists he hasn’t changed, that “I’m my man,” despite his willingness to work with Trump. He told reporters after Friday’s rally that he had voted for liberal judges Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, that he believed the climate was changing and that he wanted undocumented immigrants to have a path to citizenship.
“[Harrison] gets money from every liberal in the country who hates my gut. Now what’s going on here? Graham exclaimed. “I am the man who sat with the Democrats for more than a decade to try to solve a complex problem like immigration to my detriment. What has changed is the radical nature of the Democratic Party.”
But Graham’s bipartisan past did him no good in 2020, so he didn’t mention any of the rallies, dressed in Trump shirts and holding signs for Graham’s election campaign. Instead, he focused on the Democrats’ vague threats of retaliation against Republicans for passing Barrett. He warned voters that if Democrats controlled the levers of power in Washington, they would relinquish control to the “radical left” by packing the Supreme Court, getting rid of the Electoral College, repealing the legislative philibus, allowing illegal immigration to grow, and raising taxes. .
“This is an election for which people should be fired,” said Greg Powell, a retired veteran and voter who attended Graham’s rally on Friday. When asked about the inflow of foreign money into the state, Powell said, “On the better side, I guess that’s good for the economy.”
Darham Sweet, a Graham voter, complained that “there is no middle ground left” in the country and said he appreciated that Graham had worked with Democrats in the past.
In the final days of the campaign, Graham pursued the state to encourage his efforts to confirm Barrett. “The only problem I could have, I think, is if people calm down and don’t vote,” he said.
Harrison, 44, is an associate chairman of the Democratic National Committee and previously chairman of the state Democratic Party. His party document is his biggest responsibility, Republicans say here.
“As the campaign is running out, Graham’s campaign has begun to make people very aware of their positions on the issue. [Harrison] represents, his party represents, ”said Republican Party President Drew McKisick. “And it distances him more and more from ordinary South Carolingians.”
Harrison made the race competitive not only because of the money he had accumulated, but also because his campaign sparked a huge turnout effort in every corner of the state – one aimed not only at Democrats but also at disgruntled Republicans.
Harrison’s commercials – you can’t miss them when you turn on the TV – are getting more creative as his campaign continues to attract record cash. A recent Harrison ad tried to attract conservative voters to Bill Bledsoe, a Constitutional Party candidate who has since approved of Graham but remains on the ballot.
The ad underscores Bledsoe’s support for Trump and his opposition to gun control laws aimed at detaching the Graham Conservatives.
Graham and Trump have always been strange couples, especially after their fierce rivalry during the 2016 campaign. Graham said he wants to put aside his differences with Trump to help him become a better president and help his homeland. your country. But some Democrats find it almost natural that they would have an affinity for each other.
“One of the reasons Lindsay and Trump understand each other so well is that they just say what’s on their minds,” said Sen. Chris Koons (D-Del.). “Not much filter.”
Harrison, a lawyer and former employee of the Clayburn House office, became most animated when he spoke of Graham’s turnaround to fill the Supreme Court seat during an election year. It was a betrayal, the Democrat said.
“When you lie to your constituents,” Harrison said, “it’s the biggest parody a government official can ever make.”
Burgess Everett contributed to this report.