In 2016, like most Republicans, Graham opposed judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Garland was nominated by President Barack Obama in the last year of his second term in the White House.
Donald Trump is now in a similar situation. With less than two months until the election, he has a chance to nominate a justice.
Indeed, Trump has said that he intends to fill the vacancy left by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away on Friday, as quickly as possible.
In a statement released on Saturday, Graham expressed full support for Trump’s decision. This stood in stark contrast to the senator’s 2016 comments, which were featured in the 30-second video.
“If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term… let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,” Graham said four years ago.
In 2018, the South Carolina Republican doubled down. At an event hosted by The Atlantic, Graham was asked to say whether the GOP should wait until after the election if there is an opening and explicitly said that it should.
In a statement, Reed Galen, co-founder of the Lincoln Project, slammed Graham as “nothing more than a loathsome lackey to whatever influential force he can latch on to.”
“His unprincipled leadership cannot be allowed to continue, as he’s proven time and again that he’s willing to lie to and forsake the American people as long as it benefits him,” Galen said.
Lauren Harper, spokesperson for the LMG Super PAC, accused the senator of unprecedented hypocrisy.
“We knew Lindsey Graham was a hypocrite, but today he really secured his place in the Hypocrite Hall of Fame.”
Harper added that her organization will do “whatever it takes” to defeat Graham in November and elect Democrat Jaime Harrison to the Senate.
Latest polling suggests that the race for the seat currently occupied by Graham is tighter than many expected. For instance, a Quinnipiac University survey released last week showed both candidates polling at 48 percent.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled that he wants to move forward with replacing Ginsburg. Most Republicans are expected to support Trump’s picks, but a few dissenting voices could make all the difference.
On Saturday, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said the vacancy should not be filled until after the presidential election.