Lindsey Graham's Surprising Manchin Defense
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., made a curious choice when his PAC ventured into the West Virginia Senate race Tuesday with a 6-figure ad buy. And Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., made an even more surprising choice when he joined a conference call to defend Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., against the attack.
Graham is up for reelection in 2014 -- and is frequently cited as one of the Republicans most vulnerable to a primary challenge from the right. His defense of a Democratic colleague in the face of a tea party hero's attack won't likely be forgotten, particularly as one of the knocks on him is his embrace of bipartisanship.
Paul's PAC, RAND PAC, announced substantial ad buys targeting both Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Tuesday -- and followed up Wednesday with an ad buy targeting Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
The ads targeted Manchin for his opposition to Paul's failed September amendment to block aid to Egypt, Libya, and Pakistan. Manchin said on the call that what's wrong with Washington is colleagues going out and campaigning against each other. "I'm sorry that my colleague Senator Rand Paul felt that he needed to get involved and has gotten involved," he said.
Grahama immediately issued the disclaimer that he was calling in from North Carolina, where he was campaigning for Romney. "I very much would like to have a Republican president, and I'd very much like to have a Republican-controlled Senate, but when it comes to foreign policy and matters of war and national security, I really do try to be bipartisan and I respect Joe a lot," said Graham.