Politics Graham, Harrison spar over SCOTUS and Covid-19 in fiery Senate debate

Graham, Harrison spar over SCOTUS and Covid-19 in fiery Senate debate

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That South Carolina is being actively contested this close to the election is an alarm bell for Republicans concerning the state of their majority, as they’re pressured to defend a deep-red state that was not anticipated to be up for grabs while Democrats combat to flip the chamber.

Graham leaned closely on his function as Judiciary Committee chairman within the upcoming affirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. He promised the method would move forward, even as two members of the Judiciary Committee who met with Barrett this week examined constructive for Covid-19, forcing the Senate to alter its schedule for the next two weeks.

“The one thing I want people to know is that the virus is serious, but we have to move on as a nation,” Graham said early within the debate. “When a navy member will get contaminated, you do not shut down the entire unit. We’re going to have a listening to for Amy Barrett, the nominee to the Supreme Court. It shall be achieved safely — but I’ve got a job to do, and I’m pressing on.”

Harrison criticized Graham for pressing ahead given the infections — he stood with a plexiglass divider beside his lectern to separate from Graham, who examined destructive for the virus earlier this week. Harrison said he didn’t blame Trump for the inception of the virus but blamed the administration and Congress for an insufficient response to it.

He also questioned Graham’s phrase to voters within the state, declaring that the Republican senator had beforehand said he wouldn’t move forward on a Supreme Court nomination within the final year of Trump’s time period but is doing so now.

“I think the greatest heresy that you can do as a public servant is to betray the trust of the people that you took an oath to serve. And that’s what you’ve done,” Harrison said. “Just be a man of it and rise up and say, ‘You know what, I changed my mind. I’m going to do something else.’ But do not go back and blame it on any person else for a flip flop that you simply’re making your self.”

Graham responded that Barrett could be confirmed because Trump and Republican senators have a constitutional right to move forward.

The debate was held at Allen University in Columbia, S.C., and was produced by WIS-TV. It aired on associates in a number of different South Carolina markets as nicely: Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Savannah, Ga., and Augusta, Ga. It also aired nationally on C-SPAN.

The two also clashed repeatedly over a host of different issues, together with colleges reopening throughout the pandemic, well being care coverage and police brutality and the query of systemic racism in policing. Graham regularly aimed to tie Harrison to essentially the most liberal components of the Democratic Party, but also said he had the “political scars” to show his bipartisanship, referencing his poor repute amongst conservatives in past elections the place he confronted main challenges.

Harrison pushed back on the assaults linking him to more liberal components in his party, saying clearly that he didn’t support defunding police and accused Graham of deceptive viewers. Harrison, nevertheless, didn’t talk about his party or potential management of the chamber, but kept his focus within the debate squarely on Graham’s record in Washington and argued he had not delivered for the state.

Graham, throughout a query about destructive advertisements that had been run within the race, took a probability to convey up Harrison’s traditionally sturdy fundraising. Total TV advert spending has already reached $40 million — and while Harrison’s marketing campaign has not said how much he’s raised because the midpoint of this year, Graham urged Saturday his opponent might end up bringing in roughly $100 million for the cycle.

“Where the hell is all this money coming from…?” Graham said. “They hate me. This will not be about Mr. Harrison. This is about liberals hating my guts because I stood up for [now-Supreme Court Justice Brett] Kavanaugh once they tried to destroy his life. This is about me serving to Donald Trump.”

The monetary hole could solely keep on rising. A spokesperson for Harrison’s marketing campaign said it raised a minimum of $340,000 from the time the talk started, by way of an hour after it concluded.

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