Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday night defended 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s “civility” with segregationists by reminding everyone that the former vice president spoke at the funeral of one of the most infamous segregationists in Congress: Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC).
During a fundraiser on Tuesday, Biden bragged about being able to “bring people together” when he served as a senator–and cited him getting along with two hardline segregationists as examples.
“If that becomes the norm, that we can’t work with somebody because of whatever position they take we don’t like, then it’s over,” the South Carolina Republican told Fox News host Bret Baier.
Graham insisted that Biden “did nothing wrong by working with a duly elected senator form a state from a past that we now try to move on from.”
“He spoke at Strom Thurmand’s funeral. Now does that mean he agreed with Strom Thurmond, the Dixiecrat candidate?” Graham asked, ignoring the fact that Thurmond was a Republican by the time Biden joined Congress. “No, that means that over a 30-year period, they got to know each other, had definite differences, but they found a way to do business.”
Despite claiming he wasn’t racist, Thurmond switched to the Republican party in 1964 because he believed the Democratic party had “forsaken the people to become the party of minority groups,” and he did everything in his power to block the Civil Rights Act and integration.
Biden spoke at Thurmond’s funeral in 2003, during which the then-Delaware senator praised Thurmond as a “special man” whose legacy was a “gift to all of us.”
In his speech, Biden also defended Thurmond as a “product of his time.”
Watch Graham below:
Graham defends Biden's "civility" with segregationists by mentioning that the ex-VP spoke at Strom Thurmond's funeral pic.twitter.com/AHDNCgdH9z
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) June 20, 2019