What a difference a year makes.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday said he is fed up with the media’s portrayal of President Donald Trump. “What concerns me about the American press is this endless, endless attempt to label the guy as some kind of kook not fit to be president,” Graham told CNN. “It’s pretty frustrating for most Republicans, quite frankly, that it’s 24/7 attack on everything the president does or thinks. It gets a little old after a while.”
This is very different from the stance Graham took in early 2016, when Trump was running for president in the Republican primary. Back then, Graham, who supported Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign at the time and had previously run in the primary himself, called Trump a “kook” and “crazy” in an interview with Fox News. He said his party had gone “batshit crazy” because it was backing Trump. He also tweeted that Trump is “not fit to be President of the United States.”
You can see the different statements, from 2016 to 2017, in a video by Deadspin editor Timothy Burke.
Graham is not alone in this. Many Republicans came out against Trump during the primary election and even the general election, including other senators like Marco Rubio (R-FL) to Ted Cruz (R-TX), who were also Trump’s primary opponents. But they’ve now fallen in line with the man who represents and leads their party on the national stage, seemingly to get Trump on their side so they can at least get some of their policy priorities done. After all, Republicans already got a conservative justice, Neil Gorsuch, on the Supreme Court, and they are potentially days away from passing a sweeping tax overhaul bill.
So we get awkward moments like Graham’s, in which he is attacking the media for doing the exact same thing he did just a bit over a year ago.