Lindsey Graham snapped at a viewer and demanded that those who support family values should also support the US, which is sending billions in aid to Ukraine in its war with Russia.
A man in the audience at the Palmetto Family Matters Conservative Forum in Charleston, South Carolina, told Senator Graham that he was “not really a conservative” and accused him of being a “warmonger” during two separate outbreaks.
The combative senator refused to let the participant in his home state’s early presidential forum overshadow his wide-ranging discussion defending support for Ukraine, despite calls from other Republicans for the “blank check” to be annulled.
“That was a guy,” Graham told DailyMail.com after his comment, apparently unfazed by the clash.
“I think the guy’s crazy,” he added. “I thought most people agreed with what I said.”
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham told an onlooker to shut up after a clash over his unwavering support for Ukraine during a conservative presidential forum in South Carolina on Saturday
Graham was prompted by the MC and moderator of the forum to address the hot topic of the GOP’s wavering support for sending financial and arms aid to Ukraine.
“Do you believe in family values? How would you like this to happen to your family?’ He added to the crowd of a few hundred who had gathered at the Charleston Area Convention Center.
‘It is!’ shouted an onlooker towards the stage where Graham was sitting.
‘Just shut up. Get out!’ Graham replied, obviously frustrated after several outbursts by the same person.
“If you want to speak, run and be chosen. So here’s the deal if Putin—” he continued before being interrupted again.
‘You’re not a real conservative!’ shouted the obstinate spectator.
“I’m really conservative. If you believe in family, you support families everywhere, right? Don’t you believe that God created us all in his own image? If Putin gets away with it, Taiwan is gone.’
“What was Putin accused of yesterday? The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against the Russian President for kidnapping children in Ukraine and sending them to Russia,” the senator said.
Graham told a struggling attendee during Saturday’s forum: “Get out! If you want to speak, run and let yourself be chosen’
Graham said support for Ukraine in its war with Russia was “steadfast”.[ing] for families everywhere’. Pictured: Apartments pictured in Donestsk, Ukraine, March 18, 2023, are being leveled in the years-long Russian invasion of the eastern European country
Graham is the only non-first-term senator to have backed former President Donald Trump’s third bid for the White House.
He stood alongside Trump during his visit to the Columbia state capital earlier this year in his first major public campaign swing through early primary-contest states New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Despite being invited, Trump did not attend the forum on Saturday.
When Graham was called onto the stage on Saturday, the contestant, who appears to have a bone to crack with the senator, yelled, “You’re a warmonger.”
‘warmonger? You’re at the wrong meeting,’ Graham giggled, but quickly walked on.
Graham was only the second speaker on Saturday – after comments by Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana.
The senator’s remarks were followed by several other discussions and speeches, including former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who is considering running for the White House.
The event will conclude with remarks from previously announced presidential hopefuls Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor and Trump-era ambassador to the United Nations; and biotech multimillionaire Vivek Ramaswamy.
The issue of Ukraine has occupied many Republican politicians, lawmakers and voters after several ordinary members of Congress, as well as leaders like Speaker Kevin McCarthy, said they were tired of issuing a “blank check” to Ukraine after President Joe Biden’s latest aid package.
Ukraine invited Ron DeSantis for a visit after the Florida governor, who could soon compete in the 2024 race, described the war with Russia as a “territorial dispute” – amid growing GOP sentiment that the US has no money and no should send weapons to Kiev
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who hasn’t announced a 2024 bid but is already widely considering a frontrunner, dismissed the war as a “territorial dispute” in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson last week.
He said the US should focus on domestic affairs and stop meddling in international disputes.
But Graham warns that Russia’s takeover of Ukraine would send a signal that the US is weak and would threaten the autonomy of other nations – like Taiwan’s.
He also said that if Trump were still president, Russia would have avoided invading Ukraine.
“I think if he were president, President Putin wouldn’t do that,” he told DailyMail.com after his speech in South Carolina on Saturday.
“I said to the president, I said listen, it’s happened now and you have to be strong and clear that you can’t let Putin get away with it because Taiwan is going,” he continued. “And the Iranians are knocking on the door, and if they ever come close to a nuclear weapon, our friends in Israel will [be in danger].’
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11876105/Lindsey-Graham-clashes-audience-member-South-Carolina-presidential-forum-Ukraine.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Lindsey Graham collides with an onlooker at the South Carolina Presidential Forum on Ukraine