COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham called on his opponent in the race for the Senate to return any donations he received from an organization that supports defunding the police.
After receiving the formal endorsement of S.C. Fraternal Order of the Police and Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon, Graham called on former S.C. Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison to renounce support from MoveOn.org because of the group’s stance on police reform.
"Their agenda is to neuter law enforcement, take the money designed to protect us, and turn it into social programs," Graham said.
Harrison told WIS this announcement was Graham "playing political games" and the Senator needs to "become a work horse and not a show horse."
Harrison also said he rejects the policy Graham mentioned,
"I've been very clear since day one, that I m opposed to any effort to defund the police...but at the same time I am eyes wide open that their needs to be massive changes to how we do policing in this country," Harrison said.
The back-and-forth over police reform comes after the police shooting of a Black man in Kenosha, Wisonsin.
However, this is just one issue of many the two have debated through reporters and advertisements.
Many recent disagreements center around both side believing the other is out of touch with South Carolinians in some way.
"I used to respect Lindsey Graham, if this was Lindsey Graham 1.0, the guy who many of us believed could would rise above the political fray and become a statesman, I wouldn't be in this race right now," Harrison said, repeating his attack that the senior S.C. senator is not using his role as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee or his close-ties with President Trump to help South Carolinians.
Harrison also added he has received the support from some voters who previously supported Graham.
Graham rejects the argument that he has changed his stances.
"I have been consistent, I will continue to be consistent," Graham said. "The party of Joe Biden of 20 years ago is dead and buried. This is the new Democratic Party...what's changed is the radical nature and policies of the Democratic Party."
A spokesperson for Graham added the Senator has recently visited a S.C. PPE manufacturer, steel manufacturer, tele-medicine experts.
“Senator Graham is leading and getting results for the state. Meanwhile, Jaime Harrison hasn’t held an event outside his home in months...South Carolina can’t afford an absentee candidate to become an absentee senator,” T.W. Arrighi, Team Graham Communications Director wrote.
The race is currently close according to recent polls, and Graham is actually polling below President Trump statewide. The Senator's polling in addition to the large sums of money both he and his opponent have raised so far this election cycle has lead key election forecaster, the Cook Political Report, to rate the race as "lean Republican."
This new designation means that the race is closer to being a toss-up than political analysts originally anticipated.