Graham: Dems ‘Taking Politics to an Extreme’ in Opposing Pompeo for Sec. of State


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) excoriated Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Monday for their opposition to confirming Mike Pompeo as secretary of state.

In an interview on Hugh Hewitt’s radio program, Graham blamed Democrats for "taking politics to an extreme" by opposing President Donald Trump’s nominee. Graham discounted the possibility of the Senate voting Pompeo down when Hewitt asked, but he said it would be a travesty if the Senate ultimately rejects him.

"If he doesn’t [get confirmed], it will be a travesty," Graham said. "I’ve never been more disappointed in my Democratic colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee."

He said opposition to Pompeo from Democrats on the committee was straining his relationship with them since he considers Pompeo’s qualifications obvious.

"I try to work with them, I know them all, we have a good relationship. To say that Mike Pompeo is not qualified to be secretary of state under a Republican president really is just taking politics to an extreme," he said.

He did reassure Hewitt that Pompeo would pass, despite opposition from Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) and almost every Democratic senator.

"He will pass," Graham said. "I didn’t expect better from Rand Paul. You know Rand Paul wants a libertarian president, wants a libertarian secretary of state, but I thought elections did have consequences."

Graham explained his disappointment in senators’ opposition to Pompeo by pointing out his experience in foreign affairs, the military, and Congress.

"I’m so disappointed that very good senators could not understand how qualified Mike Pompeo is to be secretary of state," Graham said. "He’s CIA director. He understands the threats of the world better than anybody. He’s a former Army officer, member of Congress, very sharp guy. But he will be secretary of state, and I think he will have a view closer to mine."

Paul Crookston

Paul Crookston   Email Paul | Full Bio | RSS
Paul Crookston is a media analyst with the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review. A 2016 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., he served as the managing editor of the Tartan campus newspaper. He is originally from Tampa, Fla., but he still roots for Dad’s Ohio teams. His Twitter handle is @P_Crookston. He can be reached at

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