Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
- Sen. Lindsey Graham said the 2024 Republican presidential nomination could easily go to Donald Trump.
- However, Graham added that Trump’s unfounded claim that the 2020 election was stolen “hurts his cause.”
- Trump has not committed to running for president in 2024, but he has frequently teased the idea.
Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday said the 2024 Republican presidential nomination is Donald Trump’s “for the taking if he wants,” adding that the former president is holding himself back by focusing on the last election.
“He has a chance to come back,” Graham said of Trump during an interview on ABC News “This Week” “If he continues to talk about the 2020 election, I think it hurts his cause and, quite frankly, it hurts the Republican Party.”
Trump has continued to echo his unfounded claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election. He went as far as considering mass pardons for rioters who invaded the US Capitol on January 6 believing that they could prevent the peaceful transfer of power between administrations.
When Graham said Trump’s call for pardons was “inappropriate” last week, Trump called Graham a RINO, a derisive moniker meaning Republican In Name Only.
—This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 13, 2022
Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said he does not contest the results of the 2020 election, but that he would like to “reform the system,” he said on Sunday.
“The problems we found in 2020 need to be addressed,” Graham added, without elaborating on what the “problems” were. “But the 2020 election is over for me.”
Graham said all Trump needs to do to win is to focus on the accomplishments of his presidency compared to the current administration of President Joe Biden, whose approval rating has plunged amid the pandemic and rising inflation.
Graham added that Republican leadership in the House and Senate must “have a working relationship with President Trump because most Republicans like President Trump’s policies.”
“Donald Trump is the most consequential Republican in the Republican Party today. He has a great chance of being president again in 2024,” Graham said. “If he looks backward, I think he’s hurting his chances.”