LIMA — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, rallied the Republican faithful in Allen County Saturday night at the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Lima.
“The free world depends on what happens in Allen County. I don’t see how Trump wins in 2020 if he doesn’t win Ohio. This is where you run up the numbers,” said Graham.
“It certainly shows the importance of Allen County as we look towards 2020. It was the senator’s desire to come into Allen County to keep the troops motivated and certainly looking forward to the election cycle,” said Keith Cheney, Allen County Republican Party Chair.
Prior to his speech, Graham discussed several topics ranging from the U.S.-North Korea talks to his switch from a Trump detractor to a supporter.
As for the breakdown of the talks between the U.S. and North Korea, “It’s good to walk away if you think it’s going nowhere. They’re [North Korea] sitting down with Trump because they’re afraid of him. They’re putting on the table things they haven’t put on the table before. Time will tell if it works, but I want to give President Trump a lot of credit of creating an opportunity to solve this peacefully,” said Graham.
President Trump used his executive powers to declare a national emergency to obtain funding for a wall on the U.S. southern border. Graham supports that move despite its controversial nature.
“What I’m disappointed is that Democrats would not give President Trump the same amount of money they’ve given Obama and Bush. I’ve worked with Democrats for a dozen years now trying to fix a broken immigration system. In 2013, we appropriated $9 billion for barriers — all of a sudden Trump can’t get much of anything because they just hate him, quite frankly, so there’s no choice. Declare an emergency that has $3.5 billion taken out of the military construction budget. All of it will be replaced by Oct. 1, so I’ve got military installations in South Carolina. Whatever we’ve taken out of that budget to build the wall we’ll put back,” he said.
As for Graham’s 180-degree switch from detractor to a supporter, “He beat me like a drum. I accepted my defeat and I feel an obligation to help every president. Tried to work with Obama and Bush where I could. He’s [Trump] is very popular in South Carolina. I’ve come to like him. I don’t like everything he says or does, but he is president and generally speaking, he’s doing a hell of a good job,” he added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.