A rowdy crowd of South Carolina conservatives rained boos and catcalls on their home-state Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham Saturday, as he sought to praise former President Donald Trump during a hurried 5-minute speech.
“Calm down for a second … I was born in this county,” Graham pleaded amid jeers and calls of “traitor!”
An estimated 30,000 conservatives had swarmed the streets of the tiny town of Pickens to see Trump — who made its Independence Day celebration the center of his campaign effort in the early-voting state’s 2024 primary — and had little patience for Graham.
“I found common ground with President Trump,” the senator insisted, as the taunts continued. “It took a while to get there … but I’ve come to like President Trump, and he likes himself. And we’ve got that in common.”
Trump remains hugely popular in rural areas like Pickens, in the northwest corner of the state, which will conduct the South’s first presidential primary next year — with two South Carolina Republicans, former Gov. Nikki Haley, and Sen. Tim Scott, on the ballot as well.
Graham, an on-again, off-again Trump ally, begged his own donors to give cash to Trump in the wake of his April indictment by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg — but his past criticism of Trump’s policies and demeanor continues to rankle the former president’s most devoted supporters.