GAINESVILLE, Georgia — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared at a concert Thursday to campaign for the January 5 Georgia Senate runoff election, explaining the imperative to vote for incumbent Sens. David Perdue (R-GA) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) so that Republicans retain their Senate majority.
Graham, the senior senator from South Carolina and chair of the Judiciary Committee, spoke ahead of Loeffler at a Riley Green country concert at Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center Thursday afternoon, telling the crowd the upper chamber of Congress must have the Republican votes to stop legislation coming from the House under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), assuming she retains her speakership.
“So we’ve got a chance here in a few days to make sure the most radical agenda in the history of American politics dies in the U.S. Senate, that anything coming out of Pelosi’s House comes to the Senate, and we kill it dead,” Graham said.
“Both Democratic nominees have drunk the Kool-Aid,” Graham said. “They really believe, and they’ll be in lockstep with, the socialist agenda that’s gonna come out of the House. But we’re gonna kill it dead here in Georgia, aren’t we?”
Graham, who is poised to lead the Senate Budget Committee, also emphasized the committee gavel takeover that would occur in the event of a Democrat majority.
“I want you to make Bernie Sanders’ 2021 miserable,” Graham said. “What does it matter who runs the Senate? If Republicans win, I’m the Budget chairman. If we lose Georgia, Bernie Sanders is the Budget chairman. If you’re a conservative and that doesn’t motivate you to vote, then you’re legally dead.”
A number of big-name Perdue and Loeffler surrogates have detailed this same threat on their campaign stops in the Peach State. President Donald Trump warned at his rally this month that control of the Senate “really means control of this country” and that “voters of Georgia will determine which party runs every committee, writes every piece of legislation, controls ever single taxpayer dollar.” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said in response to a question from a local resident Wednesday that in Washington, DC, “the only way a bill ever sees the light of day is if the committee chairman decides they want to hear it.”
Graham also recalled the 2018 hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, then-Supreme Court nominee, to demonstrate that Democrats are power-hungry. “How many of you remember what they were willing to do to Judge Kavanaugh? They were willing to destroy his life, right? These people want power too much, but we got in their way. Don’t turn the country over to the people that would destroy Judge Kavanaugh’s life.”
Graham then highlighted the qualifications of Perdue and Loeffler, and in keeping with the Supreme Court theme, said Loeffler is a role model for women just as Amy Coney Barrett has been. “Kelly’s a rockstar,” Graham said. “She’s the Amy Coney Barrett of the Senate.”
“To all of the young women here, you can be proudly conservative, you can be proudly pro-life, and you can go to the Supreme Court,” Graham continued. “You can be proudly conservative, proudly pro-life, and you can go to the Senate like Kelly.”
Emphasizing the runoff stakes, the South Carolina Republican joked that if he could choose one state “other than South Carolina to make sure that America was in good hands” he would choose Georgia. “You’re the people that fight the wars and pay the taxes,” Graham said. “You’re the people that go to church on Sunday and go to work on Monday. You’re the strength of this country, isn’t that right, boys?”
The concert was held in Hall County, which went 70 percent in favor of Trump in the general election. Trump, barring any changes through ongoing litigation over the election results, narrowly lost Georgia by around 12,000 votes, a defeat that is largely attributed to the growing Atlanta Metro population, which hosts nearly half of the battleground state’s total population.
“This is the part of the state that runs up the score to neutralize Atlanta, you get that?” Graham asked, adding, “If we don’t get Georgia right, I worry about your future.”