December 21, 2020
President-elect Joe Biden called Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) “a personal disappointment” when asked about his friendship with his former Senate colleague in an interview that aired on Friday, December 18, The Hill reports.
“Lindsey’s been a personal disappointment because I was a personal friend of his,” Biden told talk show host Stephen Colbert when asked whether he could patch things up with the Republican senator.
Biden and Graham served in the Senate together before Biden became vice president eight years ago.
Graham has previously spoken emotionally about his friendship with Biden, notably calling him “the nicest person I think I’ve ever met in politics” in a 2015 Huffington Post interview.
“If you can’t admire Joe Biden as a person, you’ve got a problem. You need to do some self-evaluation, ‘cause, what’s not to like?” Graham told the HuffPost at that time, calling Biden “as good a man as God ever created.”
Graham was also particularly critical of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at the time—calling him a “race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot.”
However, Graham’s tune has changed dramatically over the past four years. The South Carolina Republican is seen as one of the most vocal allies of the president, The Hill notes—and was initially slow to formally accept Biden’s presidential victory.
Graham, along with a number of other Republican senators, said they accepted Biden’s win after the Electoral College vote on Monday.
Biden will face a bitterly divided Congress when he takes office next month but has touted his history of reaching across the aisle as a senator and vice president.
“I think I can work with Republican leadership in the House and the Senate,” Biden told Colbert.
“I think we can get things done, and I think once this president is no longer in office, I think you’re going to see an impact on the body politic fade, and a lot of these Republicans are going to feel they have much more room to run and cooperate.”
Research contact: @thehill