Former President George W. Bush has donated $5,000 to the 2014 re-election campaign of Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is facing tea party calls for his ouster.
"I am extremely grateful and honored to have President George W. Bush's support. With every passing day, Americans appreciate more and more President Bush's clarity on the war on terror and his strong support of the private sector," Graham told The State newspaper
in Columbia, S.C.
"It was a privilege to work with him during his two terms to cut taxes, confirm conservative judges, build a strong military, and grow the Republican Party."
He also hailed Bush as "a bold leader willing to tackle the most important and difficult issues of our time."
"This type of bold leadership is missing in Washington today," Graham said.
Graham has nearly $7 million in cash to spend on his third-term bid as he faces challenges from state Sen. Lee Bright, businessman Richard Cash, and public relations executive Nancy Mace in a June 2014 primary.
Other contributors to Graham's war chest include Henry Paulson, treasury secretary under Bush ($10,400); George Shultz, secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan ($7,600); and Henry Kissinger, secretary of state under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford ($1,000).
Graham has had a contentious relationship with the tea party and conservatives.
He recently said the Republican Party
went too far to the right in its fight to repeal Obamacare.
"We're a right-of-center nation, we're not a right-ditch nation," Graham said.
"As a party, we've got to do some soul searching … The public is ready for the Congress to behave better — this is a second chance, it would help us all."
He also said Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz's battle to defund the Affordable Care Act, which resulted in the shutdown, hurt the GOP brand.
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