Tags: Donald Trump | Supreme Court | Ted Cruz | lindsey graham | cruz | replace | antonin scalia

Sen. Lindsey Graham: Cruz Would 'Fill the Bill' in Replacing Scalia


By    |   Thursday, 17 November 2016 01:08 PM

If President-elect Donald Trump wants to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court with a justice like the late Antonin Scalia, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz would "fill the bill," Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday, making the suggestion even though the two fiery senators have had major disagreements over the years.

"Because you disagree with somebody doesn't mean you take your disagreements to the point that you can't recognize reality," the South Carolina Republican told CNN Thursday. "Nobody can tell me Ted Cruz is not a constitutionally gifted, talented lawyer, because he is."

Graham admitted he's been "at times" one of Cruz' worst critics, but insisted Thursday that "We do have areas of agreement."

Earlier this year, after he'd dropped his own bid for the GOP nomination, Graham stunned reporters by commenting his party had gone "bats--t crazy," and saying that Cruz was so disliked, "if you kill Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial is at the Senate, no one will convict you."

But on Thursday, Graham praised Scalia as a "great jurist who was probably the most conservative person on the court," and Cruz as "a constitutional conservative, very, very smart, in the mold of Scalia."

Trump in September released a long list of potential Supreme Court justices, but Cruz's name was not among them, according to Business Insider. Graham, though, in addition to Cruz, said he could support all of the potential justices on Trump's list as well.

But with Cruz, Graham said he believes the senator is a person who could serve in any capacity, and he likes him.

"We have our differences, but even his worst critics cannot say he's not one of the smartest people you have ever met," Graham said of the Texan.

For that matter, Graham said he's ready to support Trump to the best of his ability overall, now that the election is over.

"I try to help presidents, including Donald Trump, because he's president, and congratulations to Donald Trump," Graham told CNN Thursday morning, pointing out that he also helped even President Barack Obama when he could.

"I voted for almost every pick he made," Graham said. "I voted for [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor and [Justice Elena] Kagan not because I would have picked them, because I thought they were qualified. If you know anything about me, you shouldn't be surprised."

Graham, though, said he will speak up if he disagrees with Trump, even with them both being Republicans.

"I have a different view of Russia," he said. "I don't think [Vladimir] Putin's our friend. I'm going to investigate along with my other colleagues the role Russia is playing in the world, what they have done in the Mideast and Syria, what they have done to the Baltics, what they are trying to do, what they have done to Crimea and what role if any they had in terms of hacking into our elections."

Graham admitted he was surprised when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton lost, but at the same time, she "underperformed" while Trump "attracted blue-collar Democrats to vote for him."

The senator said he also would approve of either former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani or former Ambassador John Bolton for the posts of secretary of state as well, disagreeing with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who has spoken out against them.

"You can put the Republicans in a very small car about who is going to follow Rand Paul's advice when it comes to national security," said Graham. "He is my friend, he's a Libertarian, he's an outlier."

Most Republican senators have the utmost respect for Giuliani, and Bolton has decades of experience, and is a "reformer" who would turn the State Department upside down and make it work better. He knows where the bodies are buried in the U.N. And we see the world very similar."

Graham also thinks there would be several Democrats who would vote for either person.

"I would tell my Democratic friends, I voted for virtually every cabinet appointment of President Obama and you will never convince me that Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton are not qualified to serve at this level so I'm confident there will be Democratic support, bipartisan support for both of them," Graham said.

Graham also disagrees with Trump on much of his immigration policy.

"Let him send over a proposal," said Graham. "Here's what I will do. I will vote for any bill that secures our border, increases legal immigration, controls who can get a job through the national e-verify system. But I'm not going to vote for a bill that can't tell the difference between a grandmother who has been here legally and a drug dealer. I just can't go there."


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If President-elect Donald Trump wants to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court with a justice like the late Antonin Scalia, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz would "fill the bill," Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday, making the suggestion even though the two fiery senators have had major...
lindsey graham, cruz, replace, antonin scalia
Thursday, 17 November 2016 01:08 PM
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