At a campaign rally today in Conway, South Carolina, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told the young women in the crowd that they need to have a “traditional family structure” if they want to “go anywhere” in America.
The 65 year-old bachelor is running against Jaime Harrison for the U.S. Senate seat from South Carolina when he made the anti-LGBTQ statements at a campaign event.
Graham’s comments, broadcast live on Facebook by local ABC affiliate WPDE ABC15, came as he described what he loved about the Amy Coney Barrett, the latest justice to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Graham, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led the effort to rush her confirmation through the Senate, making her Donald Trump’s third successful nominee to the Court.
Graham claimed that Justice Barrett is “one of the most qualified people to be nominated” to the Supreme Court in its history, despite her having been first made a judge in 2017. He told the crowd that “she’s got everything… she’s just not wicked smart, she’s incredibly good.”
“She embraces her faith,” he emphasizes.
He went on to say, “I want every young woman to know there’s a place for you in America if you are pro-life, if you embrace your religion, and you follow traditional family structure.”
He then referred to the hypothetical woman as “young lady.”
Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says Amy Coney Barrett is proof that women can succeed if "you follow traditional family structure." pic.twitter.com/yR0aqMRpj7
— LGBTQ Nation (@lgbtqnation) October 31, 2020
Harrison is currently polling neck-and-neck with Graham, and he already raised north of two million dollars in the last week. The two have been close in polls for a while, but one Morning Consult poll released last week gave Harrison a two-point advantage, energizing his campaign and supporters.
The poll published with the most current responses, from the Data for Progress, currently has Graham and Harrison tied, according to FiveThirtyEight.
This is the latest in a series of controversial comments for Graham, especially on women and LGBTQ people. At the final debate yesterday, the senator attempted to disparage his opponent by saying Harrison would go “down the AOC road” if sent to Washington, referring to progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
Ocasio-Cortez responded to Graham on Twitter last night, saying to the senator of 17 years, “I’ve seen a lot of spinelessness in D.C., but you’re at the top when it comes to folding on your own values like a wet napkin. SC deserves better.”
.@LindseyGrahamSC I’m not sure you believe in *anything* except preserving yourself. & let’s not get started on your climate denial.
I’ve seen a lot of spinelessness in DC, but you’re at the top when it comes to folding on your own values like a wet napkin.
SC deserves better. https://t.co/daiXUObkTX
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 31, 2020
Following Graham’s remarks on “traditional family values” remarks, he pivoted to how “Republicans of color… like Sen. [Tim] Scott” are “going through heck” right now. Less than three weeks ago at an earlier debate, he claimed that Black people like Jaime Harrison are free to run for office and go to the senate, but only if they “share our values.”
“If you’re a young, African American or an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative, not liberal,” he said at the televised debate.
He then returned to talking about the courts, saying that Barrett, along with Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh and “230 other judges at the lower level” will “change the rule of law as we know it.”
“No longer will judges make the law, they will follow the law as the politicians write,” he said.
One such law that conservative often accuse judges of having made was the ruling Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that it was unconstitutional for states to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses and thus legalized marriage equality across the U.S. in 2015.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, who dissented in that decision, recently expressed hope that they could overturn the “ruinous” decision.