Lindsey Graham urged his ally Donald Trump to stop promoting conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was rigged, claiming Sunday that the former president was ‘hurting his chances’ of re-election by doing so.
It comes on the same day that a new poll shows Republican voters are torn over whether they want Trump as the GOP nominee in 2024 — and even fewer Democratic voters want President Joe Biden to run again.
But according to Graham, the GOP presidential nomination is his “candidacy for the take” — unless he continues to make his 2020 loss the main focus of his platform.
I am not running in the 2020 election. I would like to reform the system. The problems we found in 2020 must be addressed. “The 2020 election is over for me,” the Republican senator from South Carolina told ABC News this week.
“He has a great chance of being president again in 2024, if he starts to compare what he’s done as president against what’s happening now and how to fix the mess we’re in. Looking back, I think it hurts his chances.
While he has not officially announced his re-election bid, the former president has dropped several hints that at least another campaign was on his mind.
Graham, one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in the Senate, was recently blasted as a “reno,” or Republican in name only, by the former president for breaking up with him in the Capitol riot.
Graham suggested on ABC News again that he might not support McConnell as Senate GOP leader if he didn’t have a ‘working relationship’ with Trump
Trump pledged at a rally in Texas last month to pardon supporters who were arrested for storming the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
This remark sparked an immediate, bipartisan response. Graham, without mentioning Trump by name, issued a statement declaring: “All Americans are entitled to a speedy trial and their day in court, but those who actively engage in violence for any political cause must be held accountable and unforgivable.”
ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked Graham about the recent row in the audience and asked how the Republican senator thought Trump could change course now.
Well, that’s my statement about the president’s situation now. He is the most dominant figure in the Republican Party. “I think Biden’s approval ratings are in the tank because his policies aren’t working,” Graham said, without addressing Trump’s insult.
In order for the president to win in 2024, he needs to talk about the future. He should talk about how to fix broken borders, how to repair the damage done by Biden’s economic agenda and how to make the world a safer place.
He added that continuing to push claims that the 2020 election was rigged in Biden’s favor would have repercussions for the entire party.
Graham’s warnings to Trump come as a newly released poll indicates that only 50 percent of Republican voters want the former president to run again in 2024.
Meanwhile, Democratic voters have grown more distant from President Joe Biden
“I really think, if he talks about what he can do and reminds people what he’s done in the past, he has a chance to come back,” Graham said.
If he continues to talk about the 2020 election, I think it hurts his case, and quite frankly, it hurts the Republican Party.”
Another prominent Republican lawmaker who broke with Trump over the Jan. 6 pardon was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who called the event a “violent insurrection.”
Since Trump left office, McConnell has become his favorite punching bag, and in recent months the former president has worked behind the scenes to drum up support for McConnell’s ouster from his position at the top of the Republican party in the Senate.
“Any Republican leader in the House or Senate should have a working relationship with President Trump, because most Republicans love President Trump’s policies,” Graham said Sunday.
He indicated earlier that he might not support McConnell if he fails to come to terms with Trump.
Many of us wish we were looking forward rather than backward. ‘He’s so popular because he stands up to all the things most Republicans think they need to stand up to,’ Graham said of the former president’s popularity.
But it appears that not all Republicans feel the same way he does on Capitol Hill, according to her CNNThe new poll was released on Sunday.
Trump continued to push allegations of electoral fraud at a rally in Texas last month where he also vowed to pardon supporters arrested for storming the Capitol last year if he ran and was re-elected president.
The poll, conducted from January to February, revealed that 50 percent of right-leaning registered Republicans and independents would vote for Trump as the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.
But 49 percent said they would prefer a different candidate.
Among Republicans, support for Trump is slightly higher, with 54 percent saying they hope he will run again.
But only 38 percent of GOP-leaning independents felt the same.
Democrats share the lackluster feeling for the top figure in their party — even the most ambivalent of them about a second Biden term.
Only 45 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters say they want Biden as their nominee in 2024. And 51 percent would prefer a different candidate to take up the mantle of president.
Similar to Trump, registered Democrats are a little more receptive to another Biden ticket. However, unlike Trump, he failed to secure a majority in their favour—only 48 percent said they would support another round.
The percentage of left-leaning independents who would support Biden is about 33 percent.