That South Carolina is being actively contested this near the election is an alarm bell for Republicans in regards to the state of their majority, as they’re pressured to defend a deep-red state that was not anticipated to be up for grabs whereas Democrats combat to flip the chamber.
Graham leaned closely on his position as Judiciary Committee chairman within the upcoming affirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court docket. He promised the method would transfer ahead, at the same time as two members of the Judiciary Committee who met with Barrett this week examined optimistic for Covid-19, forcing the Senate to change its schedule for the following two weeks.
“The one factor I would like individuals to know is that the virus is critical, however we’ve to maneuver on as a nation,” Graham stated early within the debate. “When a army member will get contaminated, you do not shut down the entire unit. We’ll have a listening to for Amy Barrett, the nominee to the Supreme Court docket. It will likely be accomplished safely — however I’ve bought a job to do, and I am urgent on.”
Harrison criticized Graham for urgent forward given the infections — he stood with a plexiglass divider beside his lectern to separate from Graham, who examined adverse for the virus earlier this week. Harrison stated he didn’t blame Trump for the inception of the virus however blamed the administration and Congress for an insufficient response to it.
He additionally questioned Graham’s phrase to voters within the state, declaring that the Republican senator had beforehand stated he wouldn’t transfer ahead on a Supreme Court docket nomination within the closing 12 months of Trump’s time period however is doing so now.
“I feel the best heresy that you are able to do as a public servant is to betray the belief of the individuals that you just took an oath to serve. And that is what you’ve got accomplished,” Harrison stated. “Simply be a person of it and arise and say, ‘You recognize what, I modified my thoughts. I’ll do one thing else.’ However do not return and blame it on any person else for a flip flop that you just’re making your self.”
Graham responded that Barrett can be confirmed as a result of Trump and Republican senators have a constitutional proper to maneuver ahead.
The talk was held at Allen College in Columbia, S.C., and was produced by WIS-TV. It aired on associates in a lot of different South Carolina markets as properly: Greenville, Myrtle Seaside, Charleston, Savannah, Ga., and Augusta, Ga. It additionally aired nationally on C-SPAN.
The 2 additionally clashed repeatedly over a number of different points, together with faculties reopening through the pandemic, well being care protection and police brutality and the query of systemic racism in policing. Graham frequently aimed to tie Harrison to probably the most liberal components of the Democratic Get together, but in addition stated he had the “political scars” to show his bipartisanship, referencing his poor fame amongst conservatives in previous elections the place he confronted main challenges.
Harrison pushed again on the assaults linking him to extra liberal components in his get together, saying clearly that he didn’t assist defunding police and accused Graham of deceptive viewers. Harrison, nonetheless, didn’t focus on his get together or potential management of the chamber, however stored his focus within the debate squarely on Graham’s document in Washington and argued he had not delivered for the state.
Graham, throughout a query about adverse adverts that had been run within the race, took an opportunity to carry up Harrison’s traditionally robust fundraising. Complete TV advert spending has already reached $40 million — and whereas Harrison’s marketing campaign has not stated how a lot he’s raised because the midpoint of this 12 months, Graham prompt Saturday his opponent may find yourself bringing in roughly $100 million for the cycle.
“The place the hell is all this cash coming from…?” Graham stated. “They hate me. This isn’t about Mr. Harrison. That is about liberals hating my guts as a result of I stood up for [now-Supreme Court Justice Brett] Kavanaugh after they tried to destroy his life. That is about me serving to Donald Trump.”
The monetary hole might solely carry on rising. A spokesperson for Harrison’s marketing campaign stated it raised no less than $340,000 from the time the controversy started, by way of an hour after it concluded.