Sen. Lindsey Graham told a gathering of Republicans that he hopes former President Donald Trump runs in 2024.
“I don’t think Trump is listening. He might be. I hope President Trump runs again,” Graham (R-SC) said at a leadership conference for Michigan’s Republican Party on Saturday, according to the Detroit News.
Trump, who has been coy about whether he would throw his hat in the ring, came the closest to acknowledging a run in an interview on Friday.
He was asked by David Brody of Real America’s Voice Network if he could name a reason he wouldn’t.
“Well, I guess a bad call from a doctor or something, right?” Trump replied. “I will say, that happens with people.”
“So things happen, through God, they happen,” Trump added. “But you know, I feel so good, and I hate what’s happening to our country.”
Graham, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, has been a staunch ally of the former president in the Senate.
But that relationship hit some rocky ground last week when a new book claimed Graham did not find Trump’s fraud claims about the 2020 election were credible.
According to “Peril,” the book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Graham and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) vetted the claims but came away “unpersuaded.”
Trump lashed out at the two for not having his back.
“Mike Lee, Lindsey Graham and all of the other Republicans who were unwilling to fight for the presidency of the United States, which would have included at least an additional four Republican Senators, two in Georgia, one in Michigan, one in Arizona, are letting the Democrats get away with the greatest election hoax in history — a total con job,” Trump said in a statement.
Graham did not address Trump’s comments in the speech to the Republicans, according to the Detroit News, but said he and the former president have “found common ground.”
“People ask me, ‘What happened with you and Trump?’” Graham said to the gathering. “I say we found common ground. I’ve come to like him and he likes him.”
“That gets us through 18 holes,” he continued, noting the many times they’ve played golf together. ”The first nine, I’ll tell him why I like him. The back nine is why he likes him.”
Graham also credited Trump with restoring “order” on the southern border, cutting taxes, appointing a raft of conservative judges and enabling the rapid development of the coronavirus vaccine.
He said the vaccine is “the most significant medical accomplishment, maybe in the history of the country.”
And Graham said that although 92 percent of the people hospitalized with the deadly disease are not fully vaccinated, getting the shot is a personal decision.
“You decide if you want to take the vaccine. I took it,” Graham, who tested positive for coronavirus last month despite being vaccinated, said. “President Trump, thank you for making it available to the world. You saved a lot of lives.”