Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham called for an end to the ongoing public spat between former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
After a strong rebuke of the former president Saturday from McConnell on the Senate floor for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, the latest salvo in the rift between the two GOP leaders occurred when Trump issued a statement Tuesday claiming that the Republican Party will “never again be respected or strong” with the Kentucky senator leading it.
Appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity” Tuesday night, Graham called Trump’s statement “very predictable,” but also argued that “Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment was don’t speak ill of fellow Republicans.”
Reciting a list of accomplishments of both men, Graham praised Trump as a “good president” and McConnell as “indispensable,” but worried about how the feud would affect the future of the GOP, particularly in the 2022 midterms.
“They are now at each other’s throat,” Graham told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “I am more worried about 2022 than I’ve ever been. President Trump is the most consequential Republican in the party. If Mitch McConnell doesn’t understand that, he is missing a lot. But my beef is not with Mitch McConnell, because he has the same policy views I do. My beef is that we need to knock this off.”
The South Carolina senator called on Republican leaders to take a “different approach” to Trump, but also called on the former president to alter course.
“You own the Republican Party, my friend,” he said, rhetorically addressing Trump. “But 55% of the people wanted you impeached and removed. You are the hope of the future of conservatism, President Trump, but we’ve got to make some changes to get back the White House in 2024 and have a Republican majority in the Senate and the House in 2022. I believe the Democrats are doing all they can to help us. We just need to help ourselves.”
Graham went on to call for all Republicans to battle the agenda of President Joe Biden moving forward instead of each other. (RELATED: Draft Of Trump Statement Reportedly Included A Dig At Mitch McConnell’s Appearance)
“Without President Trump, we are never going to get back in the majority,” he concluded. “And to President Trump, you are going to have to make some changes for you to reach your potential. At the end of the day, we are gonna hang separately or we’re gonna hang together as Republicans.”
Graham told Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Sunday that McConnell’s speech “put a load on the backs of Republicans.”