Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) principal focus is probably on this year's re-election campaign, which he's expected to win easily, though the senator has also begun hinting about his national ambitions and plans for two years from now.
And if the South Carolinian does become a serious presidential candidate, it stands to reason quotes like these
will be a problem.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is toying with the idea of a presidential bid, joked in a private gathering this month that "white men who are in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency," according to an audio recording of his comments provided to CNN. [...] The audio snippets were provided to CNN on Wednesday by two separate South Carolina Democrats who received the recordings from a person using an anonymous Gmail address. Graham confirmed the recordings in an interview Wednesday with CNN.
The senator also joked about Baptists who drink alcohol but don't admit it, though it's likely the "white men" quote will have a greater impact.
Context, of course, is everything in a case like this, and according to CNN's report, Graham was speaking to an all-white audience earlier this month at an all-male club, which had invited the senator to deliver "irreverent" remarks.
"I'm trying to help you with your tax status," Graham says in the recording. "I'm sorry the government's so f***ed up. If I get to be president, white men in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency."
He was apparently trying to be funny.
There will, of course, be plenty of time for 2016 speculation after the midterms, though I don't think it's too early to say that Graham would struggle in a crowded GOP field. Still, he recently talked with
the Weekly Standard
about his plans.
In a recent, hour-long interview, Lindsey Graham said if he is reelected to the Senate in November, he will begin exploring a bid for the presidency. [...] In our interview, Graham repeatedly spoke of the challenges that will face the next president because of the mistakes made under Obama. And he suggested that he might just be the one to fix them. "If I get through my general election, if nobody steps up in the presidential mix, if nobody's out there talking -- me and McCain have been talking -- I may just jump in to get to make these arguments," Graham said.
White men in male-only clubs will be delighted.