August 4th, 2013
11:46 AM ET
8 years ago

Responding to new challenger, Graham vows to be like Ronald Reagan

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(CNN) – Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who's up for election to a third term next year, talked about his conservative credentials Sunday, one day after he got another challenger from the right in the 2014 Republican primary for his seat.

"I will continue to be Lindsey Graham, a solid fiscal and social conservative who wants to solve problems. I think that's the future of the Republican Party," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Nancy Mace, a resident of Charleston who runs a public relations firm and was The Citadel's first female graduate from its Corps of Cadets in 1999, announced Saturday she would challenge Graham for his Senate seat.

"There are powerful forces in Washington that consider individual liberty passé and the Constitution dead letter. I believe our state desperately needs new leadership," she said in a prepared statement.

Former congressional candidate Richard Cash, who has a solid following among social conservatives, is also running in the Republican primary.

But Graham will probably be considered the front-runner, with his strong name recognition and a sizable war chest of $6.3 million as of June 30, according to Federal Election Commission reports. In 2008, Graham won his seat in the general election with 58% of the vote.

"I'm going to keep being a social and fiscal conservative that focuses on our national security, takes care of interests at home, like the Port of Charleston, working with my state officials, and be a conservative like Ronald Reagan who will sit down with a Tip O'Neill to solve Americans' problems," Graham told Candy Crowley, CNN's chief political correspondent.

- CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

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

Filed under: 2014 • Lindsey Graham • South Carolina • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. adamfhutton

    Reblogged this on Politics Starts Here.

    August 4, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. g

    reagan opened the door for the job shippers,cut and ran from lebaanon,traded guns for hostages ,declared war on the middle class-go for it graham

    August 4, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |

    Thet tea potty would hate Ronald Reagan if he were alive today the way that they hate Graham. It's beyond ironic that the Guns Over People Shutdown Government tea potty keep bringing up his name.

    August 4, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. MaryM

    To little to late, Graham. Pandering to the tea party American Taliban, just made you look like one of them

    August 4, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    He is most certainly NOT like Ronald Reagan.

    Reagan would never have tried to create a dictatorship in America, nor would he have supported one, with voting in Congress.

    August 4, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill both were gentlemen .

    Newt was Not .

    I'd say Graham is more like GW Bush on a good day .

    August 4, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Jonquil

    Graham's a smart Conservative. He understands that if you keep refusing invitations, eventually you will stop being invited to the party. Republicans do't have to give up their principles but they do need to negotiate because we an't afford a group of people in Washington who are paid to do nothing, claiming it was what they were put in office to do. Eventually, even their staunchest supporters will catch on.

    The GOP has to start focusing on ideas, rather than fixating on judging individual people. Instead of blathering about Obama, black people, Hispanics and gay people, they need to begin understanding their fears and what it really is that they want for society. Want polite community members who volunteer, follow law and take care of their property? Start accepting that different looking people can fill those roles.

    Stop insulting our decent President - however you dislike his policy positions - and his lovely wife and daughters. We have a very, respectable First Family but some Conservatives refuse to admit that. Battle for ideas and policy, not for supremacy for one specific looking type of Americans. "Ozzie and Harriet" can be "Ozzie and Harry" and any Norman Rockwell scene can be superimposed over Hispanic Americans, too. Don't stop being yourselves but encourage, rather than force different people to be like you.

    August 4, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. saywhat

    Graham, McCain and their ilk have been part of the problems of this country. Term limits are what is needed.

    August 4, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Hawk in Texas

    He's not saying much. reagan wasen't that great as a president. he was a union buster, he was for big corporations, not the working people.

    August 4, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  10. Hector Slagg

    The Framer's of the Constutition set the priincipals for the Nation. The Conservatives try to follow it. The Liberal's squandered it for at least the last 80 years. Today you see the results. It appears we are going to continue down that path. You read about the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. Some have cautioned the U.S. is on that same path. The Pilgrams came to the New Worald to escape from Big Government not Re-Invent it. That message has been lost. Where will we go? The road to hell is paved with good intentions.Tread Carefully.

    August 4, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. anotherGDlefty

    Bravo Jonquil, maybe moderates like you can save your party.
    Speak up and vote.

    August 4, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Ron L

    Nancy Graces statement involving liberty being passé and the Constitution being a dead Letter. CLEARLY this shows she hasn't got a clue on what the true meaning of Liberty, or has ever READ the Constitution. While Senator Graham from time to time seems to go over the top on Defense spending and a few other issues, the South Carolina electorate hopefully will see he is a better choice than the other two. As far as the statement being like Ronald Reagan, frankly Reagan is one of the most overrated Presidents in the history of our nation. The Republican Party needs to understand the world is changing and if you don't change with it, it will leave you behind. Most young Americans are not ULTRA conservative, we want smaller, more efficient government, there to assist those less fortunate Americans. Many of the so-called Tea-Party Republicans seem to have no interest in the "help those less fortunate" part unless they are over 65, receiving medicare, and social security. I wonder why that is OK???? Could it be so many of them are 60 and older???

    August 4, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |

    RIP GOP. Bye bye in 2014!

    August 4, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. rs

    Well, Mr. Graham it is noble that even at this late (too late?) stage that you, and Mr. McCain, and Mr. Christie and perhaps others are trying to dial back the over-heated anti- governmental rhetoric, and trying to beat back the disaster that is the hyper-radical TEA Party. As a former member of the GOP (emphasis FORMER), the nascent anti-government commentary begun by Reagan really bothered me and forced me to move on. All the idiocy since has convinced me there are few adults left in the GOP and a lot of wannabe radicals who unfortunately have neither the wisdom, or moral compass to actually run our nation.
    I wish you luck with your mission, but given your own lack of conviction and irrational hatred for the duly elected President, I think you'll fail- and the GOP will die with your misjudgment and your TEA Party mistake.

    August 4, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Graham can see that the majority of American voter support compromise and not obstruction if they want to stay in office. The GOP party of stupid learns very slowly but will lose the house and senate in 2014!!!!!

    August 4, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. rs

    Republicans do't have to give up their principles but they do need to negotiate because we an't afford a group of people in Washington who are paid to do nothing,
    I would beg to differ. The Republicans no longer have any policy. They are in fact post-policy. They are reactionaries, who only seek to do the opposite of the current President-even when he employs and attempts to use policies the GOP (used to embrace) – like the ACA's mandatory insurance, or cutting corporate tax rates.

    August 4, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. HenryMiller

    "There are powerful forces in Washington that consider individual liberty passé..."

    And those forces are mostly Republican when it comes to gays and abortions, and a lot of us are not prepared to tolerate anyone of any party who considers individual liberty passé on any issue.

    August 4, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Kinard

    Too stupid and intimidated to be yourself? What is wrong with these people?

    August 4, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. granny

    grahamnesty, and mcshame are both liberal democrats, NOT CONSERVATIVES

    August 4, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |