June 28th, 2009
12:50 PM ET
5 years ago

Graham: 'I don't think Democrats are for dysfunctional families'

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, pictured, was lucky to have his wife, Jenny Sanford.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, pictured, was lucky to have his wife, Jenny Sanford.

(CNN) - After recent confessions of adultery by two Republican politicians, Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday decided against casting the first - or any - stones regarding ethics.

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Graham, R-South Carolina, went out of his way to avoid any disparaging comments about rival Democrats in terms of family values. When former Massachusetts governor and fellow Republican Mitt Romney spoke of strong families as a core Republican value, Graham quickly interjected on behalf of rival Democrats.

"I don't think Democrats are for dysfunctional families," Graham said, adding that President Barack Obama has been "one of the better role models in the entire country" as a good family man and a good father.

"President Obama has done a lot of good in the way he carries himself and conducts himself" regarding family, Graham said.

His comment followed questions about South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who admitted last week that his disappearance for five days was due to visiting his mistress in Argentina. Earlier this month, Sen. John Ensign of Nevada also admitted to an affair.

Graham said he was godfather to one of Sanford's four sons and that Sanford's top priority must be to reconcile with his wife, Jenny, and keep his family together. If Sanford does that, Graham said, then he believes the governor can serve the rest of his term, which expires in January 2011.

"Mark Sanford's lucky to have Jenny Sanford," Graham said. "I hope he realizes that. I think he does."


Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Lindsey Graham • Mark Sanford
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Zero.

    Will you get Sola rights to Solar Power?

    June 28, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Sue

    I'm delighted to hear that Graham is sticking to policy as a talking point and not pretending the Repubs have all the answers on family value. Thank you Senator Graham.

    June 28, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. shane

    Way to go Graham.

    June 28, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. katiec

    Another day of top headlines for the GOP.
    And, CNN, you claim to not be biased??

    June 28, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. jt

    I have to laugh at this. I'm from SC. Lindsey Graham has no credibility whatsoever here, much less anywhere else. Who would take the time to interview Lindsey Graham?

    Also, there are several reports today of Sanford having had 2-3 more affairs.

    June 28, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. girlymen love the GOP

    This moron must be related to the other moron named Graham.Two more hillbillies with no credibility.

    June 28, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Denise

    Who ever heard of anybody being for broken families?

    Ooh wait: Gingrich. When he wanted to take children in fatherless homes and place them in orphanges.

    June 28, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. haha

    The are just for gay marriage

    June 28, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. jess

    Sanford is a douche bag. He is a horrible leader and should step out of office. He refused to help his own people by rejecting stimulus money, yet used tax payers money to fund his trip to cheat on his wife or whatever the hell he was doing last June. How convenient. Also, what's with the unfaithful trend with the republicans? They all seem to be so religious and faithful to their god values. Obviously not. How do these self-interested, greedy, and insouciant individuals obtain such high political positions?

    June 28, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. gl, Pittsburgh

    "I don't think Democrats are for dysfunctional families," Graham said, adding that President Barack Obama has been "one of the better role models in the entire country" as a good family man and a good father.

    We need to frame this comment becasue next week Graham will go back to his hatefull self. It is sad that the Repubicans can only play nice when they have done something wrong and don't want to be sense as a hyprocrite. That the only reason why Graham make the nice statement above about the President is becasue they really hope the American people will over look their sins becasue they are playing nice this week. NOT! If the Republicans party wasn't so judgement, maybe the American people couldn see pas their sins. Republicans love to beat others up over their sins, but when they sin they wont everybody to not judge them. God said Judge not and you will not be Judged. The republicans have a big problem with being too judgement and that why they alway find one of theirs kind sinning all the time. HYPROCRITES AT THEIR BEST!

    June 28, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. gl, Pittsburgh

    It was just last week Graham was callilng the Presdient weak, now today the President is one of the better role models in the entire country" as a good family man and a good father. HE IS JUST A HYPROCRITE and so is ugle McCain who also cheating on his wife.

    June 28, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. Bob

    The problem with the Republicans is their dishonesty and hypocrisy. They want family values but only for others. Let's be honest, both Republicans and Democrats enjoy occasional extramarital sex but only the democrats seem to be able to accept the facts. Graham won't cast the first stone on a fellow hypocrite. I bet he would cast stones on a Democrat in a heart beat.

    June 28, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Lori, Houston Texas

    OMG! Lindsey Graham complemented President Obama!

    I got 5 bucks that says he'll be apologizing to Rush Limbaugh by Wednesday.

    June 28, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. Charles

    The Sanford scandel plays on with Republican leaders from Haley Barbour to Mitt Romney to Lindsey Graham taking a stance on why Governor Mark Sanford should be able to keep his governorship. It seems that "family values" is only relevant to the leadership so long as it does not interfere with "political expediency" The rationalization that Republicans are churning out is worse than the scandel of the affair itself. The Republican Party needs to stick to an ideology and stay with it for good or bad...or stop pushing the family values theme on the general public as a badge of honor! The "Party of No" is quickly sliding into the domain of the "Party of No Values".

    June 28, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. Laverne

    Lindsay Graham does not particularly care for Mitt Romney, no surprise there (Graham is one of McCain's closest friends) and I can't stand Mitt Romney!

    June 28, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Disgusted with Washington

    Has anyone ever heard of Billy Jeff Clinton?

    June 28, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    The democrats just feel anything goes is perfect and if you consider a lifestyle a sin you are bigot. We are all sinners but we should all strive for the ultimate goal of a loving family with faithful biological parents who are involved in their childrens lives. That is what was the ideal of the 50's nuclear family which was our strongest most productive era in America..

    June 28, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. America Shrugged

    Regardless of politics, I'm sure no one is for dysfunctional families. Unfortunately the GOP don't think it's the government's role that taxes go to any type of social services to make sure familes who need help can get help. Notice in economic downturns, social services are where cuts are made first? This country is in sad shape.

    June 28, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. tony

    Is this really about repbus and democrats......If so.......how about John Edwards and Pres Clinton. It shows their character or lack of! Red or Blue, a cheater is a cheater. Just remember WE elected all of these people. As for senator Graham, I agree with her that the president is a wonderful father and family man, that does not mean I agree with all his decisions, nor does she.

    June 28, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. Ken in NC

    Graham said, "I don't think Democrats are for dysfunctional families," He is right and Republicans are not for them either. I commend him for his comment for whatever reason on that matter. Republicans do not hold a monopoly on "FAMILY VALUE SCREW-UPS". Democrats and Republicans both do a fine job of causing family grief.

    June 28, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. J. Scott, Texas

    I agree with Senator Graham for interjecting that no one is for broken families, Democrats or Republicans. I am for Texas, but Gov. Stanford should resign or be forced to step down because of three things.

    1. Leaving the state as Gov. and not letting ANYONE know.
    2. Asking his WIFE for permission to go see the other woman.....he is a man with some serious problems.
    3. Leaving his 4 sons on Father's Day to visit a woman who he is having an affair with....As low as it can get.

    May God bless his wife and kids. He needs to resign for the good of the voter of S.C.

    June 28, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Carmen

    So two Republicans in the span of maybe a week get (almost literally) caught with their pants down, and now Republicans are willing to admit that they don't have a monopoly on family values? How magnanimous! Didn't seem like you agreed before these scandals broke, but thanks for the update! What a moron. What are these family values you all speak of? Can someone define these family values, or is it just another empty Republican talking point?

    By the way, why isn't anyone talking about "Diaper" David Vitter and the standing ovation he received from those hypocritical Republicans after his own sex scandal broke? Hypocritical cheating Republicans isn't exactly a new thing!

    June 28, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Liberals lack honesty

    Democrats aren't, but liberals can't even use logic or common sense when making an opinion. They can't even see the hundreds of lies that their savior has made.

    June 28, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Will Winchester

    As if Graham is the moral compass....Not Married. No Children. Allegedly a closeted gay. Wowow.

    June 28, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. Barbara

    Republican or Democrat, it doesn't matter. They all do it and actually who cares. We do have bigger things on our plate as a country.

    But it is refreshing to see a wife not standing meekly by her man after he's cheated on her; embarassed her and their children and run their lives across every headline in the country.
    Way to go Jenny. NOW-Divorce the cheater and send him back to Argentina bag and baggage.

    June 28, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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