Graham: ‘Moral Of The Story Is Don’t Nominate Somebody Like Roy Moore’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks on why alleged attacker in New York should be held as enemy combatant during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he thinks the President is “mistaken” to think Alabama Senate Republican candidate Roy Moore will be a legislative win in Congress and that his party should learn a lesson from nominating “somebody like Roy Moore.”

“I don’t know what winning looks like for Roy Moore,” Graham said, appearing on “State of the Union” on CNN Sunday. “If he wins, you get the baggage of him winning. … If you lose, you give the Senate seat to a Democrat at a time where we need all the votes we can get. The moral of the story is, don’t nominate somebody like Roy Moore who could actually lose a seat that any Republican could win.”

Graham’s comments come after President Donald Trump all but endorsed Moore over the weekend when he railed against Moore’s Democratic opponent Doug Jones on Twitter and defended himself for originally endorsing incumbent Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL)

“The last thing we need is Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet,” Trump tweeted Sunday morning. “Jones would be a disaster!”

Trump has previously defended Moore against the allegations of sexual misconduct against him by multiple women who claim Moore pursued relationships or made inappropriate sexual advances toward them when they were teenagers and Moore was in his 30s. But top congressional Republicans’ opinion on the matter are in stark contrast with the President’s. Republicans like Graham, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) have called the allegations against Moore credible and said Moore should step aside.

“From a party perspective, we’ve got to look long term, not short term. What I would tell President Trump, ‘If you think winning with Roy Moore is going to be easy for the Republican Party, you’re mistaken,’” Graham told CNN Sunday. “I’m not going down the road he’s going, that’s up to the President.”

 

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) appeared alongside Graham on “State of the Union” Sunday and was also asked about groping allegations against his fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who was recently accused of sexual misconduct by two women. Franken has apologized and asked the Senate Ethics Committee to probe the accusations.

“Al Franken has acknowledged what he did was wrong and it was wrong. He’s also submitted his whole case to the Senate Ethics Committee. I think that was the right thing to do,” Durbin said. “Let’s have a hearing, an investigation. Let’s let this reach whatever conclusion it’s going to reach, but through due process. … You have to say Al Franken has faced it and he’s done it in a responsible way. I think that’s the way to approach it.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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