Graham: Republicans can beat Obama
February 13th, 2011
10:47 AM ET
4 years ago

Graham: Republicans can beat Obama

Washington (CNN) – Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said President Obama is "beatable" in 2012, but that he doesn't see a viable Republican candidate in the field.

"I'm looking for the most conservative person who's electable and that person is yet to emerge," Graham said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

When asked about the results of the Saturday's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll, Graham didn't throw his support behind any of the top vote-getters. Republican Texas Rep. Ron Paul won with 30 percent of the vote and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the runner-up with 23 percent.

"Mitt Romney is probably the frontrunner among traditional candidates," Graham told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "Ron Paul is well organized, have a lot of energy behind his ideas, but whether or not he could win a general election I think is a big 'if.'"

This year, the annual gathering of conservatives served as the first cattle-call of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates.

Graham said Republicans have a "tall task" in the next election to win over the American electorate.

"They're very much looking at the Republican Party anew. We're getting a second chance with the American electorate," he said. "I think President Obama is beatable, but we got to nominate someone that can win over independent voters."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Lindsey Graham • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mubarak seems to exhibit those precious GOP conservative values. Maybe he should run on the GOP ticket. How do you tell a Libertarian that the taxes under President Obama are the lowest in 50 years?

    February 13, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think we will find that Graham is also beatable.

    February 13, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Mike in Texas

    That person Lindsay probably wouldn't survive the Republican primary because their beliefs would be considered liberal and not pure. Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan would considered liberals by today's standards.

    February 13, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. Marcus

    Of course he is. Why? Because this is a democracy and every candidate that goes to an election is not 'elected' beforehand, like in the 'elections' held in Egypt and Iraq (during the Hussein rule).
    Of course, sometimes there is a candidate that gets so good results in the polls that if he or she is not elected everybody screams 'FRAUD!!!'
    But every candidate is 'beatable'...

    February 13, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. catmom

    Not after the American people see what Republicans really plan to cut from our budget rather than going after corporate welfare and tax cuts for the rich.

    February 13, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. vic nashville tn

    ‘Beatable’ true the questions who can do that?
    Republicans has to do lot before 2012. Now the time has ran out
    Former republican now independent one thing bothers me is now days politician copying vocabulary from far right wing pundits. They use same words or sentence to attack our president
    Sen. Lindsey Graham doesn’t go that far so I respect him

    February 13, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. mary

    While the president is trying to solve our problems the GOP is bashing him without one solution to help but stupid talking points!!!!

    February 13, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. willie floyd

    As a native S. Carolinian, former Independent now Dem., I do wish our state would soon realize they are constantly voting against their best interest. IMHO there isn't a Rep., other than Colin Powell, who refuses to run for anything, in this country that could come close to defeating our Pres. I really would like to see the respect he deserves shown him-not just OBAMA-it's Pres. Obama. How many of you who post here either write or call your congressmen or the White House?? Just curious.

    February 13, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Rose

    Good luck with that. Did you see the list of straw poll contenders?

    February 13, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Please find your uber conservative Mr Graham. It's time America shows you that we do not want an ultra conservative. Obama's wim will be larger than his first landslide if you get the man you want- I kow it will be a man- women are still second class citizens to the conservative movement despite allowing them to speak.

    February 13, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. Americano

    We independent voters will always vote for the best ideas to move the nation forward...so far Republicans have only propose to cut taxes and spending to fullfil a campaing promise without taking into consideration the programs that are being cut...and that doesn't win my vote.

    February 13, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. auburn

    I doesn't matter you should vote for who you like. And if you don't like any of them then just don't vote

    February 13, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Auburn

    It doesn't matter you should vote for who you like. And if you don't like any of them then just don't vote.

    February 13, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. GI Joe

    President Obama doesn't have any worries, if that's all the lying corporation-lovin' republicans have to offer. NO MORE CORPORATE WELFARE AT OUR EXPENSE.

    February 13, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Charlie

    How? Its going to take more than Michelle Bachmann trying to fix her hair and makeup to look like Sarah Palin just to get
    noticed. These Republicans are really beginning to look scary.

    February 13, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. lynn

    Republicans can beat Obama only if they can find another Gov like Jeb Bush. The hanging chads were an embarresment to our country, that allowed GWB a second term. The people spoke, but the Republican's didn't allow them to be heard.

    February 13, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. MARINE

    Why is Graham worried about beating him in 2012 this is 2011 where is his prioritys

    February 13, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans are known to steal what's not theirs and because they don't have anyone to beat President Obama they may try it again, I wouldn't put anything past them.

    February 13, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. addon

    How many people understand, that, when the opposition (i.e. the GOPers) have nothing in the way of ideas or solutions, the only thing they talk about is Obama? Why is that? BECAUSE THOSE PEOPLE HAVE NOTHING EXCEPT CHILDISH NAME CALLING

    Its sad, grown people, supposedly educated good christian white folks, reduced to school yard name calling to try and get rid of a smart man, President Obama

    "Foget about it" – Obama 2012

    February 13, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. NameRolph

    I think the Repubs should find a candidate and win. The result would be that any country or terrorist group wouldnt mess with us because they would know they were dealing with Crazy People and you will never know what Crazy People will do.The Repubs are throwbacks to the dark ages and have Never contributed a single program beneficial to the general American populis.

    February 13, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. anonymous as well

    I agree with so many of the comments here. the republican party has plenty of criticisms and no solution. that's because in the eight years they had in the executive branch (the white house) they did nothing but cator to corporate special interest and deep pockets that funded the lobbyists. now the nation is struggling to emerge from the recession they ushered in and all they offer is comments about the problems they created .

    February 13, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. content_pessimist

    Anybody but another stupid liberal will be fine with me.

    February 13, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. FM

    Beatable!!! Lindsey has to consult Huckabee on this. He fully understands how tough it will be to unseat him. Talking always is cheap!

    February 13, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. saywhat

    Good Luck with that thought Lindsey Graham? But with that try thinking of new fresh Ideas to offer the people not more of the same ...you know tax cut , and social issue Rhetorics and lies TALK IS CHEAP

    February 13, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. carrotroot

    The GOP are either going to produce a Tea Party candidate like Palin who is going to turn off voters, or they are going to produce a flaky conservative like Romney who lacks any appeal within their own party.

    February 13, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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