Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said people of color "can go anywhere in this state" as long as they are "conservative, not liberal" during a Friday (October 9) forum, The Hill reported on Saturday (October 10). “I care about everybody, if you’re a young African American or an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this country,” Graham said. “You just need to be conservative, not liberal.”
That comment came in response to a moderator asking Graham about recent protests against racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd's death during a televised public forum. The Republican congressman said he did not believe police forces and the Palmetto State weren't inherently racist. He also claimed that Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who is Black, and former SC governor Nikki Haley (R), who is of Indian descent, were successful because of their "values."
Jaime Harrison, the Black Democratic challenger to Graham's seat, was quick to respond to Graham's remarks on Twitter.
"Lindsey Graham finally said the quiet part out loud: he only cares about South Carolinians who belong to his political party," Harrison wrote. "This isn't about political parties. It's not about left vs. right. This is about right vs. wrong." The two SC candidates are also neck-and-neck in the race for one of the Palmetto State's Senate seats.
The Republican senator was originally going to debate Harrison that night, but the Democrat declined the debate. He said he wasn't going to participate if Graham did not get tested for COVID-19. Graham is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and some of his fellow congressmen have tested positive for coronavirus over the last week.
Photo: Getty Images