On CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of lying about his claim that a source told him presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney had not paid taxes for a decade.
CNN host Candy Crowley asked Graham who he thought were the front-runners in the veepstakes. After responding that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman were the likely choices, Graham offered Crowley his unsolicited view of Reid’s claim.
“One last thing — you didn’t ask me about Harry Reid,” Graham said. “I’ve been around this town for a while. I actually like Harry, but what he did on the floor of the Senate is so out of bounds. I think he’s lying about his statement of knowing something about Romney.”
When Crowley pressed Graham, he doubled down, labeling the majority leader’s unsubstantiated claim a diversion.
“I think he has created an issue here,” Graham said. “I think he’s making things up. And at a time when the country is just about to fall apart — cyber security, there’s a bipartisan desire to do this. There’s plenty of blame to go around. But, Candy, we’re running out of time as a nation. Let’s start talking about the real issues that matter to real people and I just can’t let that pass. I just cannot believe that the Majority Leader of the United States Senate would take the floor twice, make accusations that are absolutely unfounded, in my view, and quite frankly making things up to divert the campaign away from the real issues.”