Photo: Morgan Simpson

Q&A with Sen. Lindsey Graham

Daily Gamecock: How confident are you that you can win the primary election?

Sen. Lindsey Graham: Very confident. I think I’ve been a good senator. I think I represent South Carolina conservatism, a practical form of conservatism very much like Ronald Reagan. Getting 80 percent of what you want is a good day. I think it’s okay to work with the other side for the common good, and I think I got a record of fiscal and social conservatism that fits the state very well.

DG: Do you see either (Republican primary) candidate as more or less of a threat that the other?

LG: What I need to be focused on is selling me, and we’re going to do that, taking care of my backyard. I think I’ve got probably the best record of anybody in the entire Senate, quite frankly, when it comes to military issues, and that’s a big deal in South Carolina. We’re a very pro-military state. So at the end of the day, whoever flies against me has got to prove to the people they’re qualified and confident for the job and would be better at it than me. And here’s what I’ve got going for me: I’ve got a record. And sometimes people disagree with what I do, but most people are going to vote on your entire record, who you are, and what you’re capable of. I’ve long since been afraid of disagreeing with somebody. Most voters are not looking for a universal agreement. They’re looking for someone to do what they believe to be right.

DG: What kind of support do you see from college students, and do you feel like you are in touch with the young person vote?

LG: Yeah, very much so. I was in there talking about the future. The future is bright, but without change our party has got a problem. We’ve got a demographic problem. I want to leave behind more vibrant Republican Party that can play more in the Deep South. I want to leave behind a country that’s got a sustainable economy. The biggest loser of the government shutdown is the young people. They’re the ones that are going to have to pay the fee. So I think I’ve got a very good record of being bold in my ideas, of entitlement reform and tax code reform. If we don’t do those things, the future isn’t very bright. But if we make some adjustments now, we’re going to be the best place to do business because our competitors are worse off than we are. We’re one big deal away from a breakout in the twenty-first century. I’d like to be part of that deal.

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