I’d say politics makes strange bedfellows, but I’m eating lunch here.
I’m not sure that any publicly-expressed support has ever been this reluctant. But Lindsey Graham , a one-time candidate himself, has admitted today that he will be hosting a fundraiser for Ted Cruz ‘s presidential nomination bid next week.
Don’t go getting any ideas about this. Graham still doesn’t think any too highly of Cruz. In fact, he gives all the appearance of a man asked to state his preference between sewer rats and cockroaches.
“He’s certainly not my preference, but he’s a reliable Republican, conservative, which I’ve had many differences with,” the South Carolina Republican said. “John Kasich is the most viable general election candidate. I just don’t see how John gets through the primary. This is an outsider year, and he is an insider.”
When asked about his dramatic change in stance toward Cruz, Graham admitted that his Senate colleague is “not well liked,” but said, “I have doubts about Mr. Trump, I don’t think he’s a Republican, I don’t think he’s a conservative, I think his campaign’s built on xenophobia, race-baiting and religious bigotry, I think he’d be a disaster for our party and as Senator Cruz would not be my first choice, I think he is a Republican conservative who I could support.”
Graham has long had, shall we say, reservations about Cruz.
Support for Cruz is an about-face for the South Carolina senator, who compared nominating GOP front-runner Donald Trump or Cruz to being shot or poisoned. He recently mocked Cruz’s unpopularity among his colleagues, saying earlier this month: “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”
On the other hand, if Cruz can still fog a mirror, there’s at least one Senate Republican who’ll host a fundraiser for him. (Mike Lee of Utah would presumably do so as well, of course.) I have my own doubts as to how much Cruz might want to advertise Graham’s pop-under endorsement. The voters certainly weren’t swarming Graham in the early slog.
But he does qualify for our coveted, seldom awarded Snort of the Day. Lindsey Graham may not be precisely damning with faint praise here, but he does know, to a nicety, how to praise with a faint damn.