Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is convinced former President Donald Trump is still the Republican Party’s “most potent force,” and they need him.
“The Trump movement is alive and well,” Graham, one of Trump’s more faithful allies, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “All I can say is the most potent force in the Republican Party is President Trump. We need Trump-plus.”
Graham gave some insight into the uphill battle the party faces after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made damaging remarks after Trump’s impeachment acquittal on Saturday.
McConnell, along with 42 other Republicans, had voted against impeaching Trump, thus heading off any attempt to disqualify Trump from future elected office.
However, after Trump’s acquittal, McConnell said, There’s no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” which left five people dead, Capitol Police officers injured, and parts of the building damaged. “The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.”
McConnell continued on Saturday by stressing, “The Senate’s decision today does not condone anything that happened on or before that terrible day.”
Graham said McConnell’s speech was “an outlier” that will weigh on the Party down the road reported NewsMax.
“He got a load off his chest, obviously,” Graham said. “But unfortunately, he put a load on the back of Republicans. That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns.”
Referring to former President Trump, Graham said, “We can’t do it without him.” Graham does not doubt that Republicans must work with Trump to win future elections, and he has made plans to meet with him in Florida “next week.”
“I’m going to try and convince him that we can’t get there without you, but you can’t keep the Trump movement going without the GOP united,” Graham said.
“If we come back in 2022, then it’s an affirmation of your policies. But if we lose again in 2022, the narrative is going to continue that not only you lost the White House, but the Republican Party is in a bad spot,” he added, reported Politico.
After the verdict on Saturday, Trump released a statement and said the impeachment trial was “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country.”
“Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun,” Trump said. “There has never been anything like it!”