U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) stopped Thursday morning in Fort Mill to campaign for U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-Rock Hill), taking the opportunity to criticize Democrats for the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh hearings last month.
Graham said the Kavanaugh hearings and the news of a large group of Central American migrants traveling toward the U.S. should motivate residents to vote Republican.
The campaign rally was posted via live stream video by the Ralph Norman for Congress Facebook page.
“It will only stop if they lose at the ballot box,” Graham said, referring to Democrats. “So between the caravan, and Kavanaugh, if you’re not motivated to vote as Republican, then you’re legally dead.”
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A day after U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was sent a suspicious package during a mail-bomb scare, Norman criticized her for her June comments. Waters had encouraged people in California to continue publicly confronting Trump administration officials over the zero tolerance border policy that led to a controversial family separation policy.
Norman didn’t mention the crude pipe bombs mailed Wednesday to prominent Democrats, including Waters, Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and others.
But he did say he’s received “vile” things in the mail himself.
“You get death threats because you’re a conservative,” Norman said.
Norman asked if there were any children at the Sun City Carolina Lakes campaign stop. He told children to “close their eyes” before he pulled out a post card with curse words that he said he received in the mail.
“How vile is this?” he asked the crowd. “This is mild. The subliminal message is, you run for office, this is what you get. When you see a Maxine Waters say: ‘ Get in our faces;’ when you see the talk that’s going on about if you run for office, if this doesn’t make you want to fight, I don’t know what will. But this is not right. And I think the American people get it. Nobody deserves this.”
Graham talked about the mail-bomb scare, saying he doesn’t blame President Donald Trump. Those who were mailed bombs have been Trump critics.
“I know I’m going to get asked, so about this nut job sending bombs in the mail, that’s not the way we do business in America,” Graham said. “So I blame him or her, whoever it is. I didn’t blame Bernie when the Bernie supporter shot (Rep. Steve) Scalise, so I’m not going to blame Trump for this nut job. It’s about the people who do these things, right? What I’m going to encourage you to do is vote.”
Graham said voters should re-elect Norman, who is facing Democratic challenger Archie Parnell in the Nov. 6 election.
“Ralph is reliable,” Graham said. “What we need more of in Congress is reliable. People who are well-centered, understand the economy. It’s better to cut your taxes than it is to increase them. It’s better to have a small federal government than it is to have a dominating federal government.”
Norman also stopped at a Winthrop University event Wednesday night in Rock Hill to talk about U.S. relations with China.
Chinese Embassy Minister Counselor Tian Deyou said Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” shouldn’t be taken to mean “Make China enemy again.”
He said a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the November G20 Summit could lead to a better relationship between the two countries.
“Tariffs is not the solution,” Deyou said. “Talks is the only way we can solve this problem.”
Norman said U.S. relationships with different countries will have “ups and downs” but the relationship is important.
“Despite the rhetoric that you hear, it’s to our advantage and to our benefit to have good relations with China, as well as other countries,” Norman said at the Winthrop forum.