GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was on the CBS show “Face the Nation” on Sunday and implied that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was “crazy” and a “radical liberal” and he would not deal with her.
Graham said that serious negotiations to end the partial government shutdown can’t begin in until Democrats put someone in charge whom Republicans view as more reasonable.
“We’ll have offers on the table when we find somebody that’s not crazy to deal with. We’re not going to put any offers on the table as long as people in charge of these negotiations accuse all of us who want a wall of being a racist.”
The senator did not refer to Speaker Pelosi by name, but criticized her openly when he referred to a comment she made to a reporter where she said she would agree to give Trump one dollar for his border wall.
In answer to a question of whether she would agree to provide one dollar toward funding the border wall Pelosi replied: “A dollar? A dollar? Yeah, one dollar.”
Graham said he would be willing to negotiate instead with Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.):
“When you see Dick Durbin and others in the room, not a bunch of staffers, when you see this rhetoric that those who want to build a wall are racist stop, when you see the idea one dollar’s enough for the wall, when that stuff ends, the real negotiations begin.”
“Right now, the people running the show on the left are radical liberal Democrats who don’t see a border security problem, they see their own government being the problem. There’s a deal to be had here, but it will include a wall.”
Graham, who is known to be someone who Trump listens to, once again said that a compromise deal could include protections for young immigrant “Dreamers” covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. But the status of the DACA program is currently hung up in court and Trump said this week that he did not want to talk about a DACA deal until the Supreme Court rules in his favor.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions initiated a phaseout of DACA in September 2017, but that action was later blocked, first by three District Court judges and, eventually, by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Graham’s comments on national TV show that he is taking a hard line against negotiating with Democrats in the House, but he is not likely to be successful. Calling Nancy Pelosi “crazy” and a “radical liberal” will not help him win the debate over funding for a border wall. He used to be considered a rational and honorable man, but he has been influenced too much by Donald Trump and has sunk to the same low level of negotiating tactics. Emotional outbursts and name-calling will not win the day for Republicans, and Nancy Pelosi is almost certain to prevail.