U.S. Rep. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, appeared on the Fox News talk show The O’Reilly Factor on Monday, March 13, to discuss the Obamacare repeal-and-replace efforts and some of the criticisms leveled by a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report finding as many as 24 million Americans could lose health insurance by 2020 under the Republican plan.
Graham has had a long and tumultuous history with the president, but he struck a more flattering note during the interview segment, calling Trump a “great negotiator” and urging him not to settle on a replacement plan if it was not the right plan.
“Mr. President, don’t take a bad deal. You’re a great negotiator. If you can find a better way using Republicans alone, do it. But if you can’t,” Graham said, “walk away.”
“Let it (Obamacare) collapse, and it will,” Lindsey said, noting that his state had gone from five to only one active health insurer. Graham also added that Trump should “challenge the Democratic Party to help because they are the ones that created this mess.”
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) March 4, 2017
One of the prominent Democrats, or Independent, but he ran for president as a Democrat, to criticize the current GOP replacement effort is U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who charged “Trumpcare” was made to benefit the wealthiest Americans. O’Reilly observed that Sanders “wants a nanny state,” to which Lindsey Graham agreed.
“The goal of ObamaCare was to destroy the private sector and get more government control,” Graham said, remarking that Democrats were “trying to get through the back door what they couldn’t do through the front door, which is single-payer.”
Lindsey concluded his remarks on the Trumpcare (aka the American Healthcare Act, or AHCA) by saying again to President Trump and Republicans “slow down, observe this report, and remember that we’re going to own what we do here for the rest of our political lives.”
Before letting Lindsey Graham off the hook for the night, O’Reilly asked him about the wiretapping allegations Trump made about former President Obama, admitting the president “walked those comments back today,” but wondered what more would come of it.
“I think I owe it to the people of the United States to let you know if there was a warrant issued by a lawful authority for the surveillance of President Trump,” Graham said, assuring viewers he would be asking for “any evidence of a warrant, and if there was no warrant, then we’ll have solved this problem. We all need to know if a warrant was issued.”
Senator Lindsey Graham feuded often with President Trump during the primary season, referring to his then opponent on more than one occasion as a “jackass” and remarking that a Trump nomination would guarantee a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Trump volleyed back by painting Graham as a loser for his low polling and even sharing his personal cellphone number at a public press conference.
Trump ultimately got the better of the exchanges, winning Graham’s home state in a landslide. By that point in the primary, Lindsey had bailed out and was no longer in the race having suspended his campaign in December, 2015, prior to the February vote.
While the overall tone of Graham’s and Trump’s dealings has been less combative since Trump secured the White House, some conservative critics — like Sean Hannity — have continued to take shots at Graham. Recently, in an article linked above, Hannity even wondered when Graham was going to become a Democrat after comments Graham made showing concern that Trump was accusing a former president of potentially illegal activities in the Obama wiretapping accusations.
— Brian Fraser (@bfraser747) March 14, 2017
What are your thoughts on Lindsey Graham, readers — specifically his thoughts that President Trump should “not take a bad deal” and that Obamacare was created to destroy the private sector? Sound off in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Gage Skidmore/Flickr Creative Commons/Resized and Cropped/CC BY-SA 2.0]