SC-Sen: Photograph Of Lindsey Graham (R) With Proud Boys Leader, Joe Biggs, Resurfaces

From theGrio:

Just days after President Donald Trump appeared to support the white nationalist group, Proud Boys, during Tuesday night’s presidential debate — only to later disavow them after mounting pressure — a photograph has recently surfaced showing Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with a member and organizer of the organization.

The photo, which has made its rounds on Twitter, shows Graham smiling for a photo-op with Joe Biggs, a known member and organizer of Proud Boys, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In the photo, Graham and Biggs appear to be sitting in a restaurant, as there are waiters standing behind them. Biggs is a visible organizer and leader of Proud Boys based in Florida. He’s repeatedly been photographed front and center at demonstrations.

Talk about bad timing:

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Jaime Harrison (D. SC) wasted no time hitting Graham on this:

In a statement provided to theGrio in response to the photo of Graham and Biggs, Graham’s Democratic challenger Jamie Harrison said: “Our elected officials must be clear and unequivocal on this, particularly during this shared moment as a country,” Harrison said. “Hatred and white supremacy have no place in South Carolina, nor should the vile ideas from groups like the Proud Boys be offered safe harbor anywhere across the United States.”

Harrison, who is Black, has proved himself as a formidable opponent against Graham. A recent Quinnipiac University poll classified Harrison and Graham’s race for Senate as a “toss-up,” as they are locked in a dead heat.

Graham’s been having a very rough week. For example, Graham tried to make himself look less like a Trump sycophant in his debate with Jaime Harrison (D. SC):

Towards the end of Saturday night’s first Senate debate between South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and his Democratic opponent, Jaime Harrison, the candidates were asked on what issues they would dissent with their parties. Graham, who’d been sticking for most of the hour to a controlled strategy of reciting warnings against what Democrats would do with power, seemed to loosen up.

“How long do you have?” Graham said. “So, Lindsey ‘Grahamnesty’ is my name on talk radio.” He spoke about how he’d worked for “over a decade to get a comprehensive immigration solution.” He’d worked on climate change, and when he voted for Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, he “got the crap beat out of me here at home by Republicans.

“When it’s talking about working with the other side, it’s not just talk with me,” he said. “And I’ve got the political scars to prove it.”

But Harrison wasn’t having it:

Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison called into question the honesty of incumbent Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina during their first debate on Saturday evening, addressing his opponent over his changing position on confirming a Supreme Court justice in a presidential election year.

Graham, a close ally of President Donald Trump who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, is in a close race with Harrison, which has garnered national attention and raked in record-breaking campaign contributions. During the debate, Harrison highlighted how Graham had joined other Republican lawmakers in refusing to consider former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland ahead of the 2016 election, but now is pushing to confirm Trump's nominee Amy Coney Barrett ahead of the November 3 election.

“Senator, you said 'use my words against me,'” the Democratic challenger said, pointing to remarks made by Graham in 2016 when he was asked about the issue. “Your promise was that no judicial nominee should be approved during the last year of an election. … How good is your word?” he asked.

Also, smart move:

Harrison, for his part, said he was “taking [COVID] seriously,” as demonstrated by the plexiglass shield protecting him from Graham, on the other end of the stage.

Harrison’s great-aunt passed away in July, he said, explaining that she died by herself, in a nursing home. No one deserves to be blamed for the emergence of COVID, said Harrison. But, he added, our leaders should be held accountable for the way they responded to it.

“Because, you know, it’s not just about me,” Harrison continued. “It’s about the people in my life that I have to take care of, as well. My two boys, my wife, my grandmother…Let’s take this issue seriously and do all that we can to not only take care of ourselves, but each other.”

Some context:

Of note: Harrison said he took the precaution to protect loved ones, criticizing Graham for taking part in the debate following a COVID-19 outbreak on Capitol Hill. “Let’s take this issue seriously and do all that we can to not only take care of ourselves, but each other,” Harrison said.

  • Two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that Graham chairs have tested positive for the virus in the outbreak that infected President Trump.
  • Graham said Friday that he tested negative for the virus and he expects the committee to move forward with confirmation hearings for Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Oct. 12 as planned.

By the way, looks like this isn’t Graham’s ace in the hole:

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham touted an endorsement Thursday from Constitution Party nominee Bill Bledsoe, hoping to rid himself of a thorn in his side that risked peeling away a small but potentially pivotal number of conservative votes in South Carolina’s competitive U.S. Senate race.

But even though Bledsoe announced he will vote for Graham because of his support of President Donald Trump’s conservative judicial nominees, that does not necessarily mean other voters will follow suit.

Bledsoe’s announcement came too late for him to be removed from South Carolina ballots, meaning voters will still see him as one of three candidate options alongside Graham and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, who have been neck-and-neck in recent polls. Voters can also choose to write-in somebody else.

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