Sen. Lindsey Graham just can’t shake that speculation about his orientation. The problem for the Senator from South Carolina is that it’s his fellow Republicans who keep bringing it up. At a press conference on Thursday, Dave Feliciano, one of six Republicans challenging Graham in the primary, called out Graham for being a closet case.
“It’s about time that South Carolina (says) hey, We’re tired of the ambiguously gay senator from South Carolina,” Feliciano said. “We’re ready for a new leader to merge the Republican Party. We’re done with this.”
Feliciano made his remarks at a press conference attended by three other Republicans trying to unseat Graham. The four had pledged to support whoever among their ranks makes it into a run-off against the incumbent. Two of the other candidates, Richard Cash and Bill O’Connor, issued statements distancing themselves from Feliciano, a policeman with no political experience and zero chance of making it to the run-off. The fourth candidate, Lee Bright, had left the press conference before Feliciano got to the microphone.
Feliciano isn’t the only Republican to make an issue out of the rumors around Graham. Last summer, Tea Party favorite Nancy Mace retweeted a message from a fan who saw the campaign as “Nancy Mace vs. Nancy boy Graham.”
And it’s not just Republican opponents. Political writer Charles Pierce at Esquire routinely refers to Graham as Senator Huckleberry J. Butchmeup. (It’s not a term of endearment.)
The Republican primary isn’t until June, so there’s still plenty of time for plenty more snide comments.