South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, tore into the NAACP during confirmation hearings for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) Wednesday, accusing the organization of anti-GOP bias during a heated confrontation with its president and CEO, Cornell Brooks.
Brooks was present to testify against Sessions’ appointment as attorney general. While making his case against the Alabama lawmaker, the NAACP leader referenced Sessions’ 11 percent rating on the NAACP’s legislative report card.
In response, Graham slammed the NAACP and Brooks for an allegedly biased agenda. The South Carolina Republican noted that he only received a 25 percent approval rating and went on to list the failing grades of every other GOP lawmaker on the Senate Judiciary Committee before noting the nearly perfect scores earned by Democrats across the board.
“Would you say that there seems to be a difference in terms of the parties and how well they do in the NAACP’s legislative agenda?” Graham asked.
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“The report cards are based on legislation, not party affiliation,” Brooks replied. “I might note to the respect of our report card, we’ve done that for the better part of a century.”
But that answer didn’t satisfy Graham, who went on: “Isn’t it kind of odd that one party gets 100 percent and nobody else does very well on our side? I think it’s really odd. I think it — well, it speaks for itself.”
When Brooks again defended the report cards, Graham pushed back, arguing the NAACP is clearly choosing to reward lawmakers who advance policies they like and punishing those who don’t.
“It means that you’re picking things that conservative Republicans don’t agree with you on and liberal Democrats do,” the senator said. “I hope that doesn’t make us all racist and all of them perfect on the issue.”
“I think the report card says volumes about how you view Republican conservatives,” he continued. “Maybe we’re all wrong and maybe you’re all right. I doubt if it’s that way.”