According to The Hill, during an event in New Hampshire, former President Donald Trump referred to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as a “progressive from South Carolina”. The statement drew boos from the crowd, who seemed to disagree with Trump’s characterization of Graham. The former President made the remark while discussing trade with India, China, and Europe.
Trump acknowledged the negative reaction from the crowd, but he also defended Graham by saying, “No, he’s a progressive, but he’s got some good things, too, OK?”. This wasn’t the first time Trump has referred to Graham as a progressive. Last year, during a fundraising dinner in Florida, Trump also referred to Graham as “our progressive senator from South Carolina”.
Despite Trump’s description of Graham, the senator has been one of Trump’s most ardent supporters in Congress. Graham was among the first Senate Republicans to endorse Trump for his 2024 presidential bid. Trump’s speech in New Hampshire also included some jabs at potential 2024 GOP rivals. He criticized former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, saying that he “has got a big mouth – that’s all he’s got”.
Trump also took a swipe at New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, accusing him of playing games with running for president instead of running for the Senate. Sununu had earlier in the week referred to Trump as a “four-time loser” in reference to the previous presidential and congressional elections.
It remains to be seen how Graham will respond to Trump’s comments. The Hill reached out to Graham’s office for comment, but there has been no official response yet. Despite the criticism, Graham remains a key figure in the GOP, and his support for Trump will undoubtedly be crucial if the former president decides to run for office again in 2024.