WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIS) - South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham does not agree with House Rep. Jim Clyburn's assessment that the political climate in the United States is akin to the climate in Germany during the rise of Adolf Hitler in the 1930's.
In an exclusive interview with WIS, Graham did say political temperatures are running hot, but people needed to speak their minds instead of "losing their minds."
"Jim Clyburn's been a friend and I don't just say that. We played golf. I enjoy his friendship. He's been a good voice for South Carolina, a good guy to work on South Carolina issues. But people are running hot right now on both sides of the aisle," Graham said.
"I'm a pretty good student of history. Whatever problems we have here today can't be compared to the 1930's. America is a work in progress. We have the ability to speak our minds. I'm just encouraging people to not lose your minds when it comes to speaking."
Clyburn appeared on CNN several days ago and said Americans could "very well see ourselves going the way of Germany," citing Hitler's tactics of discrediting the media, disrupting the judicial system, and hanging swastikas in churches.
"There's only one difference," Clyburn said. "If I were making that comparison, then this president would be Mussolini and Putin would be Hitler."
Graham spoke about a number of other topics in his interview with Greg Adaline.
In speaking about President Trump's first State of the Union address on Tuesday, saying he saw a tough commander-in-chief.
"So what did I get out of the speech? That the tax cuts are working from [a] Republican perspective," Graham said. "The Economy is moving forward. our people are benefiting from the tax cut in spite of democratic opposition. I saw a tough determined commander in chief. From my point of view, the best thing of the Trump presidency is that we are rolling back the defense cuts - we're gonna rebuild the military and we're going on offense when it comes to terrorism."
Senator Graham was also asked about what he thought is contributing to the discord in Washington.
He said it all comes down to fear - fear for their jobs every election cycle. But he says without unity, the result is gridlock.
"If the Democrats will understand working with Trump when it helps the country is good politics we'll be OK," Graham said. "A lot of us fought Obama. I fought with him when I thought it was wrong. I tried to work with him on immigration reform and other things. So I hope there will be an element in the Democratic Party that will reject the 'resist' movement. And there's a deal to be done on immigration, infrastructure, and prescription drugs and I think all boats will rise if we get a bipartisan agreement. Most Americans are looking to us to fix their problems - not just yell about their problems."
The senator said even with a government shutdown looming on Feb. 8 that cooler heads will prevail to get the people's business done in the Capitol.