Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) raised eyebrows this week during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett when he referenced “the good old days of segregation.” Soon after, Graham said he made the remark with “deep sarcasm.”
During Wednesday’s hearing, Graham asked Barrett, “You’re not aware of any effort to go back to the good old days of segregation by a legislative body, is that correct?”
Graham’s challenger Jaime Harrison immediately posted a tweet blasting the senator, “Lindsey Graham just called segregation ‘the good old days.’ The good old days for who, Senator? It’s 2020, not 1920. Act like it.”
.@LindseyGrahamSC just called segregation “the good old days.” The good old days for who, Senator?
It’s 2020, not 1920. Act like it. pic.twitter.com/qVhhfp7oRY
— Jaime Harrison, DNC Chair (@harrisonjaime) October 14, 2020
During a break in the hearings, Graham told reporters, “If anybody was listening to who I am and what I said, you know that it was with deep sarcasm that I suggested that some legislative body would want to yearn for the good old days of segregation.”
He added, “The point that I’m trying to make, there is nobody in America in the legislative arena wanting to take us back to that dark period in American history. And for my opponent to suggest that says far more about him than me.”
Moments later, the South Carolina lawmaker said, “In terms of that statement, it blows my mind that any rational person could believe that about me. This is not a game we’re playing here with the people of South Carolina.”
Graham clarifies that his "good old days of segregation" comment was sarcastic pic.twitter.com/E7J0sqQMUJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 14, 2020
Graham and Harrison are locked in a nail-biting race for the Senate seat which Graham has held for three terms. A recent Quinnipiac poll previously showed Graham and Harrison tied and a CBS poll just before that gave Graham a one-point lead. The Cook Political Report recently moved the race from “lean Republican” to “toss-up.”
Harrison has proved to be a fundraising phenom — his campaign brought in $57 million last quarter, which constitutes the most money raised by a Senate candidate in U.S. history.
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