Sen. Graham tells Lowcountry voters he had to ‘take one for the team’

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham stopped in Beaufort Monday to endorse Congressional Candidate Katie Arrington and discuss a big talker — Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Graham said he will not be defined by the few minutes he took the microphone during the hearing, but instead, he says, for doing what is right and Republican.

“He’s one of the finest people I’ve ever met and that’s why I got pissed,” Graham told the packed room at the Beaufort GOP office.

It was four and a half minutes of the Kavanaugh hearings that put the senator in the national spotlight for days.

“This is going to destroy the ability of good people to come forward because of this crap,” Graham said during the historic hearing where Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh was questioned about allegations of sexual assault toward Christine Blasey Ford 36 years ago. Graham said it was “most unethical sham” since he’d been in politics.

The senator told Beaufort voters that politics is a sport, and he had to take one for the Republican team.

“Something happened to Dr. Ford, I truly believe that, but I do not believe it was Kavanaugh,” Graham said. “He is on the court, thank God, if they had beat him doing this, they would keep doing it forever. Who would want to be the next person nominated to go to the Supreme Court?”

Senator Tom Davis was there to support Graham and told News 3 Graham cut through the noise and chaos during the hearing.

“[Graham said] things that hundreds of millions of people were feeling but didn’t know how to voice. That’s an extremely valuable thing for the Republican party and it came at a perfect time,” Davis explained.

Debra Schutz, the state director for South Carolina Women for Trump was also in attendance Monday. 

“It’s not guilty until proven innocent in this country, it’s innocent until proven guilty. And we felt all the norms were set aside, for just a platform,” she told News 3. “So when Lindsey Graham stood up for Justice Kavanaugh, we thought, ‘Yes!’ and I know so many women that have thought the same thing.”

Graham said ultimately, Democrats helped Republicans. “They did something we could not do for ourselves, unite us,” he said.

But local Democratic groups say they aren’t threatened.

“The Democratic Party is united as well. We are united behind issues that are important,” said Bill Walker the vice chair for Beaufort County Democratic Party.

Issues like Medicaid, offshore drilling and domestic violence. 

“South Carolina is one of the top states with the highest number with domestic violence against women,” said Chair Mayra Rivera. “That is one of the things as a country, as a county, as a state, we need to address immediately.”

Graham is making stops in 12 states before the midterm elections, he says, to encourage Republicans to vote for justice at the ballot box.