Lindsey Graham to Rep. Cheney, Trump GOP Foes: Party Needs Former President Senate Judiciary Committee members Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., (L) holds a news conference outside the court's building on April 22, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Friday, 07 May 2021 08:52 AM
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has a message for Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and other Republicans wanting to separate themselves from former President Donald Trump – the party needs him.
While discussing the political landscape in Georgia and how corporate America is being intimidated by the left, Graham spoke about growing the party and retaking the U.S. Senate during an interview on the Fox News Channel.
"It looks like the Democratic party wants to be the party of coastal elites," Graham said. "Can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no.
"I’ve always liked Liz Cheney but she's made a determination that the Republican Party can’t grow with President Trump. I've determined we can't grow without him."
Graham and host Sean Hannity mentioned former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL star Herschel Walker as a potential Senate candidate to run against Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., in 2022.
"All of these people like Herschel Walker are attracted to the 'Trump Republican Party' – economic populism, America First agenda. If you don’t get that as a Republican, you’re making the biggest mistake in the history of the Republican Party," Graham said.
"The reason our party is growing with minorities and with working men and women is 'cause President Trump appears to be on the side of people working really hard. Appears to be on the side of opportunity not dependency because it is."
Cheney, one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump for inciting the Capitol demonstrators on Jan. 6, appears in danger of losing her position as chair of the Republican House Conference.
The No. 3 ranking Republican has called out Trump for claiming the 2020 presidential election was "the big lie" and the outcome stolen by Democrats due to voter fraud. Her actions have upset Trump's many supporters in the House.
She has angered House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., by continuing to attack Trump instead of focusing on unifying the party as it heads into the 2022 midterm elections.
In a conversation caught on a hot mike Tuesday, McCarthy said he has "lost confidence" in Cheney, Axios reported.
"I think she's got real problems," McCarthy said in apparent off-air chit-chat ahead of a live interview on the Fox News Channel. "I've had it with her. You know, I've lost confidence."
On Monday, Trump issued a statement saying the 2020 election forever will be known as "THE BIG LIE" – a phrase the mainstream media has used to describe the former president’s election claims.
Cheney responded by tweeting:
"The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system."
Trump has encouraged Walker to run for Senate, calling him "unstoppable." Walker has not yet announced his intentions, although he has said he’s "considering" the option.
CNN has reported that Walker has visited with former Trump staffers and with key GOP senators such as Graham to discuss his chances.