Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 27, 2015

Graham: Those Who Cause Government Shutdown Will Be Enemies for Life

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham may face a tea party challenge back home, but he’s not shying away from blasting the strategy of fellow GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah — and he had some choice words for any Republican or Democrat who causes a government shutdown.

“If the government shuts down, it’s not what you think it would be. I have actually experienced that,” Graham said. “If anybody creates a process where our military doesn’t get paid, and their families, they’re going to make an enemy … of me for life.”

He added that he was prepared to do what he could to keep the shutdown from taking place.

“I will do everything in my power to make sure that our men and women in uniform, and our law enforcement officers and intelligence community who’s fighting a war while we argue among ourselves get paid,” Graham said.

As for Cruz and Lee, Graham took issue with their rhetoric in this week’s debate over whether to filibuster the House-passed continuing resolution.

“They said some things about, about our colleagues that I just think are really out of line,” the South Carolina Republican said of Cruz and Lee following a series of votes that led to passage of a “clean” stopgap spending measure that would keep the government open past Monday.

“At the end of the day, they’ve got to decide what kind of role they want to play. I’ve got to decide what kind of role I want to play to grow the Republican party and to save the country,” Graham said.

“You know, Strom Thurmond gave me some pretty good advice: don’t question another senator’s motive,” Graham said. “That’s pretty good.”

Graham, who holds the seat Thurmond previously occupied, differed from the tactics favored by Cruz and Lee, who pushed colleagues to filibuster on the CR to prevent Democrats from adopting an amendment stripping Obamacare defunding language. Graham supported the debate-limiting cloture motion but opposed the amendment to keep the health care law funded and the final measure.

“I thought the choice of making Democrats strip out defunding Obamacare was a really good approach to show the differences between the parties, but the idea that the Senate Republicans would shut the government down until everybody bent to our will never made a whole lot of sense to me,” Graham said.

Asked if he had any concerns that vocal opposition to the two senators could generate campaign ads against him from third-party groups, Graham went further.

“I’m trying to grow the party, I’m not trying to purify the party. I want the party to be bigger, not smaller. At the end of the day, there are groups who are focused on beating Republicans, not focused on winning over Democrats on a bill [to] replace Obamacare,” Graham said. “This is a free country. I just think that is not a wise choice, and for people in the Northeast and other places, this whole sort of slash-and-burn approach is not going to play well.”

Graham even said that he didn’t worry about being called not conservative enough by outside groups.

“I’m a conservative by any reasonable definition: socially, economically. There’s no stronger voice for the military than myself, and I think conservatism sells, and I’m not going to let anybody say I’m not conservative, ’cause I’ve got a voting record to prove it,” Graham said.

  • thereasonableprogressive

    Senator Graham needs to talk to Speaker Boehner’s. The latter claims he has “no interest” in shutting down government. If he means it, he’s going to have to get control of his back benchers. Maybe a way to start would to let Lindsey Graham clue in these folks to how a government and democracy work.

    • Look_A_Squirrel

      Dems have to read the Constitution first. Something that strikes as much fear into them as garlic to vampires or water to witches.

      • thereasonableprogressive

        Why do you say Democrats don’t respect the constitution. They won a majority, passed the ACA as they SAID they, and the law was upheld by the Supreme Court. What’s wrong with that? Then they party won the 2012 election (even picking up seats in the House) after campaigning in favor of the law. If the Tea Party doesn’t like the result maybe its members should broaden their electoral base instead of acting like cry babies and trying to blow up the economy.

        • E L Frederick

          Keep drinking the kool-aide. Obamacare is why people are not hiring, it’s why people are working fewer hours, and why your premiums are going up.

          Before Obamacare I was paying $25 for one of my kid’s prescriptions, now I’m paying $200 for the same script. There is nothing AFFORDABLE about the ACA. It’s the Abominable Care Act; where the only doctor you will be able to afford is Dr. Kevorkian.

          • Jesse4

            Anecdotes aside, insurance rates have been rising slower for the last three years than in decades. Is that because of Obamacare?

          • E L Frederick

            It is more likely do to the anemic economic “recovery” the worst recovery since the great depression. With job growth not even keeping up with new people entering the work force and double the number of people of food stamps when the Amateur in Chief took office.

        • I_Go_Pogo

          Hitler won the popular vote, too

    • karmafordems

      The way it works is that Senators speak for the people they represent, not the other way around

  • E L Frederick

    Graham is part of the surrender caucus, his voice doesn’t matter. He will be replaced by someone with a backbone. He’s nothing more than a sniveling little worm. He and McCain’s days in the senate are numbered. There’s a new Sheriff in town, and his name is Ted Cruz.

    • Jesse4

      Look again.
      That’s no sheriff, that’s just a dumb kid with a play badge.

      • E L Frederick

        PPP Poll out today…

        Our numbers also suggest that Cruz is now viewed more broadly as the leader of the Republican Party. When asked whether they trust Cruz or GOP leader Mitch McConnell more, Cruz wins out 49/13. When it comes to who’s more trusted between Cruz and Speaker John Boehner, Cruz has a 51/20 advantage. And when it comes to Cruz and 2008 GOP nominee and Senate colleague John McCain, Cruz wins out 52/31. He now has more credibility with the GOP base than the folks who have been leading the party for years.

        • Jesse4

          He’s still not even ready for prime time. And as for his credibility with his base; his base thinks Rush Limbaugh has credibility too.

          • E L Frederick

            Well, you think Obama has credibility after blaming Bush for everything over the last five years and being spanked by Putin and Al Qaeda on the International Stage.

          • Jesse4

            Obama isn’t blaming Bush for everything, just the things he did. And Putin and Al Qaeda didn’t “spank” him in any way shape or form. That’s just the pathetic spin the right is trying to put on foreign events they don’t understand.

          • E L Frederick

            Well then tell me about the U-6 Unemployment being up around 14% with your Savior in Chief. Got any spin for that?

          • I_Go_Pogo

            SURE he does – Bushcheneyhalliburtonangrywhitemalesracistsfacists&kkk.

          • I_Go_Pogo

            Au contraire, obama’s best game is ‘pin the fail on the honky’

          • mariee


          • octagon999

            Oh. My. Gawd. lol Thanks!

          • amskeels .

            Great, LMAO at that one!

          • dectra

            Pogo, you are a racist pig

          • I_Go_Pogo

            Love you, too

          • octagon999

            Wait until Iran gets nukes. That won’t bother you either, will it? You’ll still be licking the feet of Obama.

          • 1dudette

            sorry he DID get spanked big time by Putin who is now viewed as leader in UN. as for pathetic spin on the left and o-hole’s ignorant foreign policy, he got spanked by iran too…he deserved it—he expects Iran to be friends after he threatened one of their allies (Syria)?

          • spbigger

            Do you doubt that Rush has credibility?

          • Anon

            Rush DOES have credibility

          • candolf

            LMAO! Oh please oh please oh PLEASE let Cruz be the Rep. presidential nominee … CANNOT. WAIT – 2016!

            It will be *kisses finger tips* — mwaaah!

        • binky354

          Hey, let’s give Mike Lee some credit too.

          • Oldmonkey

            Paul & Rubio helped as well as Lee. With a couple of whacks on proper border fencing, Rubio can be fixed.

        • lookolook

          The GOP base is made up of pure lunatics. Now you have the King of lunatics as your leader (Teddy psycho). It’s your choice. Who am I to argue with you. As you make your bed…

          • E L Frederick

            Tell me about how Obama has had huge success since his re-election. Tell me about Gun Control. Tell me about how well the economy is doing. Tell me what a bang up job he’s done with Egypt…

            Then tell me that it’s Ted Cruz who is the nut.

          • lookolook

            You’ve just told yourself all you need to know about yourself – die-hard racist, anarchist, nihilist, hater, a fool and a tool being used to be discarded later. You’re so hateful that you don’t even recognize your own self-interest. I pity you.

          • E L Frederick

            Wow, that’s the best you’ve got… name calling. Typical Liberal, all mouth, no record.

          • lookolook

            If I call you what you’re, that is not name-calling at all. You and your ilk from Red States want no government, yet you suck hilariously at the teats of government oblivious of the contradiction inherent in your stupid rhetoric. Without government you and your barren states will starve. You contribute little to the government purse, yet you take more than your fair share and shed crocodile tears, all the time whining about everything, threatening secession ad infinitum. You lost the war, deal with it. You’re losers.

      • dectra

        Your right, Jesse.

        Unfortunately, folks like EL Fredrick think this destruction of over a million jobs by the GOP is somehow a ‘good thing’ lead by the clueless jacka$$ from Texas.

  • Look_A_Squirrel

    If he’s a conservative, I’m Brad Pitt.

    • octagon999

      Can I have an autograph? Asking for a friend.

  • Sam

    Please, please, please primary this guy out.

  • tpaine1

    Well, if you survive the primary, I guess I might care, but at this point, I don’t.

    • I_Go_Pogo

      Looking forward to Lindsey getting ‘Maced’ !

  • JIMH

    The best thing that could possibly happen to this Country is to have the Government shut down. It’s an 8,000 pound hungry gorilla on each taxpayers back……Starve that sucker until it falls off………Godspeed to Cruz and the Tea Party Boys……They are the ONLY ones in Washington who give a crap about ordinary Americans……

    • The Painful Truth

      Yeah, and then Obama and Jack Lew will announce there is no money for Social Security and Medicare on the Sunday Morning “news” shows (forget the fact that payroll taxes don’t stop coming into the Treasury), and the House GOP will fold like a cheap suit.

      • JIMH

        No pain, no gain……Let the American people find out that the Government has been lying to them all along. Better to face up to that fact now rather than later. We need substantial change in Washington, it’s better if we got on with the job…….

      • karmafordems

        That will not happen. There went Nomoney during his speech yesterday, ginning up the scary monster again.

  • binky354

    Graham still don’t have it – it will be his new blue BFF that will shut the government down. Repubs will pass CRs – will the Dems sign them? Will Obama sign them?

  • kmlrn

    And that would be a bad thing?

  • I_Go_Pogo

    Except for imam obama, of course.

  • The Painful Truth

    Well, with any luck Grahamnesty will be primaried and we wont have to listen to the democrat-wannabee any longer.

  • PDQuig

    Note to S. Carolina: this idiot represents you. Do something about it.

    • I_Go_Pogo

      We’ve got a REAL woman running against him. Nancy Mace

      • wearefree

        Did she defend Nikki Haley when her business partner was trashing Gov. Haley? If not, I’m not interested in her.

        • Oldmonkey

          Haley choose well when she chose Scott. With luck he will keep the seat

  • JeffG

    I know who my son in Charleston will not vote for. The problem is too many in the primary.

    • karmafordems

      Keep the Pub primary closed to all other parties, independents too. Let the registered republicans pick their candidates. Pub primary in Louisiana is closed to ALL other registrants. Fight for this with your SC pub committee

      • lookolook

        Extreme lunatic candidates just escaping from the insane asylum will always win your primaries, but they are unelectable nationwide. It has happened in Indiana, Nevada, Louisiana and Massachusetts. Please, continue the journey to self immolation. The GOP now led by tea party extremists have soaked themselves in combustible gas. Please light the fire quickly!

  • Martin Hutchison

    Imagine a bunch of people being marched to a concentration camp. And then some of the people fight back and things get ugly. Then Wimpy Graham says to these resisters “this is your fault, you just made an enemy for life”- completely ignoring the fact that Nazis are marching them to death camps anyway. These RINOs are just like Obama, they see the Tea Party as a worse threat than Islamic terrorism, and in fact these RINOs should be seeing Obama as the worst threat, because when the US falls, so does the world.

  • bflat879

    Does that mean that Graham won’t be talking with Obama any more? If there’s a shutdown, it’s because the Democrats want a shutdown. If it weren’t for Graham, McCain, and Cornyn, this wouldn’t be a problem, Harry Reid would know the Republicans are serious. NOw, because of them, he knows he can roll them and he most certainly will.

  • Cahoots

    Lindsey Grahamnesty, you are a joke. The sad thing seems to be you don’t even know it.

  • iamsaved2

    Cruz is a threat to the “hand picked” elitist Republican candidate for President next go around. That’s why the old guard is fighting against him so vociferously. He doesn’t fit the mold. That being said, the Republicans haven’t been very successful the past two elections. Why would I want to trust them again?

  • Amash

    That’s the problem with the likes of Gaham, McRino, jugs,etc. They actually believe the nonsense that spews fron their mouths. They’re always right. All 3 will be proved wrong.

  • jimgeb

    So if Obama or Reid fail to capitulate and end up shutting down the government, will they be Graham’s enemies for life or does that only apply to Ted Cruz and other true Republican conservatives?

    • karmafordems

      Lindsey Graham IS MY ENEMY

  • Tom Servo

    Unlike Hafez Assad, who he’s all ready to be buddy-buddy with again.

    I can see Graham in his pink, sequined slippers jumping up and down shrieking “I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!!!!”, then bursting out in tears and running away.

  • wbonesteel

    He’s just declared his hatred of tens of millions of Americans. What’s he gonna do, next? Start putting them on cattle cars and sending them to camps?

    • Sigelitedark

      Only after he helps amnesty get passed, then they’ll start shipping real Americans to the FEMA camps that are unoccupied at the moment.

  • ElmerEvans

    You hear this, South Carolina?

    Will you remember?

  • mariee

    The GOP has less of an approval rating than the Democrats. The reason for that is, they won’t stand up for them or do the right thing. I think the GOP misinterprets their low approval numbers. They think Americans are mad at them for even trying to fight the Democrats!!! It’s the other way around..idiots! if you ask the people who they liked better Obama or Cruz, Cruz would win.

    • water28

      You forgot to add that the media takes every spare minute to bash the conservatives.

      When was the last time you saw ANYTHING bad about a liberal on the news? Wiener they even spun positive!

    • wearefree

      Thank you Mariee. This is what I have been saying for a couple of years now. They usually lose when they put up moderates rather than strong conservatives.

    • lookolook

      Self immolation is a strategy of suicide. That’s what the extreme loudmouth of the Right are doing to themselves, the GOP and the entire country. If you think suicide is a bright idea, who am I to argue with the dumbest idea of you and your ilks. As you make your bed…

  • gwhh

    sounds like a fair deal to me

  • water28

    LOL no loss Gramisty. Your nothing but a blue dog democrat anyways at best.

  • 1BigPITA

    His twin brothers Moe and Ron have Obama and Reid on their “enemies for life” list. Is this yahoo really this dense?

    Who’s responsible for electing this tool?

  • Sigelitedark

    The Rinocrat speaks, and no one listens except dem partners

  • octagon999

    This is Lindsey facing an election. Imagine him with 6 more years in the bag. He’ll have “more flexibility, Vlad.”

  • mouell

    Lindsey – Please just shut your freakin’ pie hole. I am a staunch Republican and cannot stand one word out of your mouth.

  • sharinite

    Very sad to see an old dog who can no longer lift his leg to pee behaving as if he cared about you and me. His time is done and he knows but as a good RINO progressive, he’ll leave with hate and lies!!


    if this idiot is so worried about the military not being paid if the government shuts down why didn’t he do something beforehand. Why didn’t he make sure the money was put somewhere just as Soc. Sec money is? Is he really surprised that this has happened, yet again. We have been putting up with this governemnt shutdown nonsense because congress, especially the senate for the past 4 years, has refused to submit a budget. Obama has submitted 3 budgets and has yet to receive one “yes ” vote for tham but this fool did not see this coming. Give me a break.

  • wearefree

    You know who are my enemies? Any congress critter who did not long ago pass legislation that says the military is an essential service and will therefore always be funded during any shutdown. The military is specifically listed in the Constitution as the responsibility of the federal government.

    • water28

      Yes but its more fun to make social programs mandatory over national security.

  • JungleCogs

    RINO French Republican coward well past his ‘sell-by’ date.

  • bkeyser

    Well, if that’s not incentive, I don’t know what is.

  • water28

    Hey Senate pass a budget and this would not be an issue. Then again, you get to play these games at least once a year… that way you can fan the flames between the American people just like you did with Martin.

    Politicians are just bleeping loosers.

  • water28

    Just like the blue dogs that got trimmed… so will guys like Gramisty and McCain.

  • megapotamus

    Graham seems not to know that he has already made lifetime enemies of those he threatens with his lifetime enmity. Carolinians, time to eject this doofus from any office of public trust. I know he tawks all lak Paula Dean…. but still.

  • Jeff Hunter

    I would be PROUD for Lindsey Gramnesty to consider me an enemy for life!

  • Not Chicken Little

    Stupid and arrogant is no way to go through life, Lindsey…

    He apparently is incapable of understanding a proposal to fund everything else in our bloated, overweight government EXCEPT Obamacare, so it would NOT shut government down. Personally I say shut it all down, it’s happened before many, many times and everyone is always surprised at how much better things go, without so much Federal government.

  • Unqualified?

    Arizona Republicans please RE-CALL JOHN MCCAIN TODAY. MCCAIN first and then sweet Lindsey will just quit. Lets Go!

  • Unc Remus

    Sounds like something to strive for…Hey LinSeed, UP YOURS…Burn it down!

  • corday_d_armont

    Sen. Lindsey Graham is already “an enemy … of” the Constitution and Reaganite principles for life.

  • valinva

    Last time I heard something like this is was in grade school being said by a girl. Is he a Goober or a Goobette?

  • mscol

    What a spineless jelly fish. Stand for something instead of nothing you yahoo.

  • Disgruntled2012

    You should know all about “enemies for life”, Lindsey. You have decided to be exactly that, to conservative Americans who love freedom and revere the constitution. You, sir, are a disgrace.

  • VL123


  • 1realamerican

    This is the same guy that supports Al Qaeda.Remember people when SHTF the tyrants in office first.

  • Ed Burns

    You can ad me to his “enemies for life list” immediately… traitorous Bas—d!

  • Cameiros

    A voice of reason in the GOP?
    What a bunch of losers. The Repubs, Boehner,, talk about a guvment shutdown, only…they’re really afraid to shut it down.
    Get it on, girls. Shut down the air controllers, the FBI the NSA (please).
    And don’t forget to shut down the Fed and the Treasury.
    Pathetic hypocrites.

  • J Gord

    I am a constituent of Senator Graham and I applaud his concern for the people whose lives are affected by such a drastic, unnecessary, measure as a government shutdown. Only a heartless extremist with no concern for his/her country (read “Suicide Caucus”) would think this a plan worthy of consideration in the halls of Congress.

  • obadiah_edomite

    obama is killing veterans by closing the world war II memorial. I heard it on the radio. yet this accomplice to the murders, this graham cracker, is siding with the enemy and pretending that he is a great american like those endorsed by shawn hannity. graham must be destroyed, same as satanic obama marxist (TM).

  • Irene H

    Graham – you are so full of hot air. Did anyone listen to his telepone recording Friday when he said he was voting to defund ObamaCare and even put in a bill and then turned around with his head between his legs and voted not to defund it. Which side are you on Lindsey – not the people who put you there as a Rep Senator. You are a liar to say the least and will do anything to get a vote. Let me see – are you a Rep or Dem? Love to hear that answer – because you act and talk like a Dem. And what were you and McCain doing in Obama’s office? If you want to remain a Senator, I suggest you run as a Democrat haha.

  • sysadminpgh

    Remember the Elite Republicans & RINOs hated Reagan…. That why America got the First lame brain Bush. If Conservatives had some balls back then the Bush Clan would never been forced on us. Now Rove and his minions are pushing Jeb Bush in 2016. They are pushing Amnesty and massive immigration too. All at a time when robotics are set to replace millions of jobs. We need to ask why does our government allow Corporations to take our cutting edge robotic technology to China where they are building HUGE Super Plants? These Corporations are NOT building here… It’s just like US Steel building their Super Plant Steel Mill in China in the early 80’s. How did that work out? Millions of steel workers out of jobs and ALOT of open land in places like Pittsburgh!

  • John Herling

    Graham will be their enemy for life because, among other things, the shutdown keeps the U.S. from rushing into one of those wars he and McCain would dearly love us to fight.

  • Paladin

    Typical of someone in office too long… believe they are entitled… voter circumcision.

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